Reuben I: The Beginning
‘Good morning Mr Raz.’
The pale man stood with an outstretched arm to greet his visitor with a tentative smile plastered on his weary face. As the door of his small office slammed shut, the two men took their seats.
‘Thank you for coming, Mr Kamer, and please, call me Reuben.’ After a nod from the taller man, Reuben took a quick breath, before continuing. ‘As we spoke about on the phone, I truly do believe the proposal I have put forward for Rahat City to enter the National League is the best choice, not only in terms of football, but for the city as a whole.
I grew up on the streets of Rahat, and I can tell you, they are football-crazy. On the streets, children kick about, well, just about anything they can find, whilst a single game can bring crowds so loud, the city erupts with noise like a volcano every time a goal is scored. Things have not been easy however.
My parents, like so many others, did not have an education. They worked day and night in our small shop to ensure I got what they never did, and it was only because of them I was able to move to the United Kingdom to attend university. My life, my professional career, all the money I have made during my years, none of it would have been possible without Rahat. There are so many more like me on the streets this very moment Mr Kamer, and they will not get the same chance I did.
A football club, a real football club in the higher levels of the Israeli system would mean so much, finally a representation for the largest Bedouin city in the world. Being accepted into the league would not only bring joy on the pitch, but the city will use this, and we will become stronger. This is our time to shine, the time for Rahat to make a positive mark on a nationwide scale.
I know you have had dozens, even hundreds of applications for this prestigious spot, but honestly, I can say with a hand on my heart, The Orange Wall of Rahat will be the only city in the world this passionate and caring about the beautiful game. Please, Mr Kamer, please, together, let’s make Rahat a great footballing city.’
As Reuben finished his line, he had not even realised how emotional this made him, with a single tear falling slowly down his cheek. Wiping it away awkwardly, he shuffled his attention down to the ground to avoid eye contact. He could not face rejection. How many days had he spent ensuring that his dream, to make his childhood city great, could happen? How many days had he wasted?
A voice broke his thoughts, and as he looked up, he struggled to contain his joy.
‘Yes Mr Raz, I believe we can do that.’