Haron al-Fahili, 42, a father of eight from the village of Bani Na'im near Hebron, has 27 years of experience in construction. He began his career as a scaffold worker, and now works as an assistant to the construction site's manager and is in charge of the storerooms.
In the past 19 years he has been working in the Jerusalem area for the Neta Lifshitz construction company, which nominated him for the award.
We found him last week at the Mahane Yehuda Market in the capital, building a new commercial center. "There is no work where I come from," he says. "Every day when I return home, young people from the village approach me and ask for my help in getting a job or permits to work in Israel."
Al-Fahili speaks of the warm and equal treatment he receives from the company, his colleagues and the construction site manager, but also of the exhausting road he has to take every single day.
It begins with an early rising at 3 am in order to make it to the long queue at the Bethlehem checkpoint, which opens at 5 am for security checks. He arrives at the construction site at around 6:30 am.
His regular salary – NIS 255 (about $75) for a day's work – will receive a boost of NIS 2,500 ($737) on Wednesday as an excellence scholarship, which will be given to him in a special ceremony organized by the Construction and Wood Workers Federation in collaboration with the Fund for the Promotion and Development of the Construction Industry in Israel and the Association of Contractors and Builders.
Yitzhak Amoyal, chairman of the Construction and Wood Workers Federation, said the 2011 Outstanding Employee Award ceremony marks the equality in the industry between Israeli, Palestinian workers, which is expressed in the working conditions, the workers' welfare and the promotion of excellence.
Awards will also be given out to 11 Israeli workers and one from Moldova.
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