In Her Footsteps
One night my parents left our house in the Muslim Bedouin village, Tel Sheva, and fled to Omer, the nearby Jewish town where I grew up. They lived there for more than twenty years and felt integrated into town life until my mother became ill with breast cancer. She then expressed an unprecedented wish; she, a Muslim woman, wanted to be buried in the town’s Jewish cemetery. In the Muslim culture, women cannot attend funerals. Rodaina hoped that in carrying out her wish her three daughters would be able to walk with her on her last journey. But in the Jewish community there was no precedent of a Muslim being buried in their cemetery. Her wish tore the family apart and raised dilemmas about identity, belonging, femininity and the meaning of home.