Over the last five weeks we’ve spoken to many families of hostages. That’s how we met Faiz Abu Sabehan, whose 53-year-old brother-in-law, Farhan al-Qadi – a father of eleven – has been kidnapped into Gaza. Faiz is a Bedouin politician, and has twice served as mayor of Rahat, the largest Arab city in Israel. He’s also an educator – a teacher, a principal and an administrator. Much like his political patron, Mansour Abbas, Faiz holds a complex position – he’s in favor of fully integrating into Israeli society on the one hand, but remains steadfast and uncompromising when it comes to central tenets of Islam on the other.
Being the mayor of Rahat is one of the most difficult jobs in the country – the city is poor, under-policed and sees more than its share of violence. In fact, Faiz himself has survived multiple assassination attempts. Some of what he says is challenging and might make certain listeners feel uncomfortable. But nevertheless we felt that it’s important to bring his voice too, as an Israeli, as a Bedouin leader and as a family member of a hostage.