Samir Disi

The father of the family said that they would not open the door in any case, but the knocking and shouting continued, and this time the man outside called their father by name

Samir Disi was born and raised in the Old City, and during the Six-Day War he was a fourteen-year-old boy. When his father heard that a war broke out, he sent Samir and his brother to disassemble the wheels from the family car, so that they would not be stolen it in the uproar of the war, and in case the army would decide to use it in the fighting. When the brothers left the house, Jordanian soldiers yelled at them to go back home, but in the end they were let to do what their father ordered them. Samir and his brothers were on their way home when suddenly they heard a loud noise from the direction of Jaffa Gate. Beyond the corner of the street, a tank appeared. A shot from its cannon knocked down the Jordanian watch post on the bridge leading to the Tower of David (now known as the Allenby Staircase). The brothers were so frightened that they hurried to flee home.

When they got home they locked the door behind them and told their father what had happened. He ordered them to close the door and not open it to anyone. The family sat at home behind locked doors, fearful, and then after a while there was a loud pounding on the door and a voice in Arabic called them to open. The father of the family said that they would not open the door in any case, but the knocking and shouting continued, and this time the man outside called their father by name. Samir’s father went downstairs and opened the door slowly and cautiously, and in front of Samir’s astonished eyes, embraced the Israeli soldier standing in the doorway. He immediately put him in the house, blessed him, and seated him in a place of honor. The soldier told Samir and his brothers that he knew the house well, his name was Yehuda and until 1948 he was their father’s partner in the carpentry shop. Nineteen years after the partners broke up, they met again.