Teeth Story at Saint Louis : An historic peace between Jordan And Israel
The teeth story
Date: 22 May 1954
Location: Suleiman Street (HaTsanchanim) – No-Man’s Land
(buffer zone between Jordan in East Jerusalem and Israel in West Jerusalem)
Photo by: David Rubinger for LIFE Magazine
Article Name: “Tale of Some Teeth: Arabs and Israelis hold their fire for a lost denture,”
Life 41,1 (July 2, 1956), 52
On the sunny day of 22/5/1954 patient Miriam Zahedi was leaning out of her room’s window in St. Louis Hospital. Miriam coughed so hard that her false teeth flew out of her mouth and landed on the ground outside on what was ealrier known as Suleiman Street (today called HaTsanchanim Street)
Miriam’s false teeth fell on no-man’s land that was in between of Jordan and Israel which was covered with twisted barbed wire, scorched armored vehicles, concrete barriers, and land mines.
Miriam never had hope that she can get her dentures back due to the complexity of the political situation so she remained silent for 5 days until she finally informed one of the nurses working in the Hospital, Sr. Odile, about her teeth that fell on no-man’s land.
Sr. Odile contacted her Superior, who immediately called the French Consulate to intervene. The French Consulate called the Israeli officials asking them to allow the nuns to cross into no-man’s land to look for the false teeth. Israeli officials contacted the UN Ceasefire Committee to mediate with the Jordanians for a truce that allows the nuns to look for the dentures in no-man’s land. The Jordanians agreed to the request of the UN and as a result formed a committee of searchers to cross the borders into no-man’s land. The committee included Sisters from St. Louis Hospital, UN commander holding a white flag, Israeli Official, and a Jordanian Official.
Incredibly after hours of search, the lost teeth were discovered among the weeds, refuse, and barbed wires and returned to their owner.