Sleeping in an Israeli Mamad
Na'ale, Israel and the Palestinian Territories
I've successfully relocated to a small, heavily guarded and gated Jewish community in the West Bank (the eastern part of the Palestinian territories) called Na'ale, just a handful of kilometers northeast of the large city of Modi'in. [ location on Google Maps ]
After the Gulf War in 1991, when Israel was attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles, a law was passed requiring all apartments and homes in Israel to have a mamad, a reinforced security room impermeable to chemical and biological substances. It's in this room, on a couch that folds down into a bed, which I (and hopefully the family, as of tomorrow morning) will be sleeping for the next few days.
This is the first room of this type I've seen in Israel, making me think that only recently (<10-15 years) constructed homes actually sport them.
The door to the room takes a great amount of effort to shut, as the thick rubber gasket outlining the frame prevents the bolt from latching unless compressed with strength (ditto for the window, too). What an interesting place to be CouchSurfing…