Runaway Girl Returns Home with Assistance from Arab

A 10-year-old Jewish girl who ran away from home in Ra’anana returned to her family after being urged to do so by an Arab man who sheltered her.

Dorit Cedarbaum, who fled her home after a fight with her older brother, had found refuge with the Arab guard of a building site. He eventually persuaded her to telephone home.

“At first I was afraid of the Arab, but as soon as he gave me a glass of water, I knew that he wouldn’t hurt me. I always knew that there were good Arabs, too,” Cedarbaum told a reporter for the Israeli daily Ma’ariv.

Within two hours of fleeing home last Thursday night, Cedarbaum was cold and tired. When she saw a light in a but just off the road, she went in and encountered 30-year-old Abed al-Latif from Umm el-Fahm.

Cedarbaum persuaded Latif to let her stay. Early Friday morning he took her to the nearest bus stop, gave her 10 shekels and four telephone tokens and put her on a bus to Ra’anana.

He told her to call her mother as soon as she got off the bus.

By 6 a.m., Cedarbaum was back home. It was only on the way to the police station with her mother to report that she had come back that she heard the radio reports about her disappearance. “Only then did I realize that the whole town was looking for me. If I’d known what was going to happen, I wouldn’t have run away,” she said.

On Sunday morning, Latif received a citation from the mayor of Ra’anana for his help.

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