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In this Edition

A Bi-Monthly Regional Youth Magazine

Volume 4 No. 21

May / June 2004

Imagine Israel Under Palestinian Occupation Is Idealism Dead? How it Feels Being a Palestinian Teenager What Kind of Animals Have We Become? CB in the Classroom - Lesson Plans

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Who Are We:

Bi-Monthly Regional Youth Magazine

Project Manager: Garba Diallo Project Assistant: Nina Maria Klok International People’s College, Denmark Tel: 0045-4921337l Fax: 0045-49212128 e-mail:


Arab Israeli Coordinator Andre Kaldawy Arab Academic College Tel: 00972-55-299146 Fax: 00972-4-8120380 e-mail: Israeli Coordinator Dana Admoni Givat Haviva Tel: 04-6309249 e-mail:

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Editorial ○

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Editor in Chief Crossing Borders Edition 21 Dana Admoni

Layout & Press Production Orientation Ltd. Tel: 00972-2-5818183 e-mail: Graphic Design Tawfik Gazal Illustrations & Photography Shiran Zehavi, Bakria Mawasi

Letters to the Editor ○

Palestinian Coordinator Suheir Hashimeh Jerusalem Times Tel: 00972-2-6286373 Fax: 00972-2-6289078 e-mail:

Language Editor Richard Ratcliffe

CB in the Classroom

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On-Line And On the Line ○

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Would You Like to Spend Your Holiday in Gaza?

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Is Idealism Dead?

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How Perfumes Are Created

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Inside the Interior Ministry

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It’s the Economy, Stupid

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Jordanian Coordinator Khaled Shorman Masar Tel: 00962-6-5858748/5815740 Fax: 00962-6-5815740 e-mail:

Crossing Borders May/June 2004

WHAT IS CROSSING BORDERS CB is a bi-monthly regional youth magazine whose readers and writers are Israelis (both Jews and Arabs), Palestinians and Jordanians. CB is also made available to educational institutions and youth organizations interested in the Middle East. CB was founded by the International People’s College (IPC) in Elsinore, Denmark in 1994. As an interactive forum for youth in the Middle East, your feedback is essential to what we try to achieve. Contact us with your ideas and suggestions at: Articles or parts of articles may be used provided that credit is given to the authors and Crossing Borders.







With the continued instability in out region: violence, occupation, suicide bombing, wall construction and human rights violations, I find hope in young people who, like me, believe that the only solution to the conflict is face to face negotiations, compromise and the realization of both the Palestinian and the Jewish leaderships that it is their responsibility to end the suffering of their peoples and to finally bring about a peaceful resolution to out conflict. The tireless efforts of CB in bringing together young men and women from the four sectors, Palestinian, Jewish, Arab Israeli and Jordanian, to talk directly to one another, exchange views and ideas, meet and em-



bark on educational seminars and cultural exchanges give us hope that we, the young people, will be able one day to solve our difference on the negotiation table and not on the battlefield. As future leaders of our people, it is our responsibility to make our voices heard and to take control of our destiny. Thank you Crossing Borders for giving us all the opportunity to involve ourselves in a healthy and constructive dialogue through the pages of CB magazine.

Anis Kaldawy Haifa, Israel


Israel under Palestinian Occupation By: Ala’ Maaytah, Palestine

Palestinian checkpoints prevent many students, including the Hebrew University students, from getting to class on time, and some are arrested and jailed for no reason except that they are Israeli and Is-

Of course, I should also imagine myself having lunch at a restaurant or traveling on a bus and suddenly being bombed. Imagine that you turn on the television to Some may also suggest that I should imhear that Netzirim settlement is being agine myself traveling abroad and not bombed by Palestinian apaches. Twenty being allowed to wear “The people have been killed and a hundred injured. My idea is to get you to imagine for a minute Star of David”, fearing humiliation or being harmed. Ambulances can’t even suffering yourselves in the inverted ways I’ve Why should I be afraid, and reach the place where described. How do you feel ? why should people hate me? people are bleeding (some Is it just because I’m an Isto death) because of the raelis are known to be terrorists. raeli or is it to do with my country’s poliPalestinian checkpoints and the curfew. cies towards other nations like the PalesMany children and husbands cross these Imagine that the next item on the news tinians? checkpoints without being harmed, but bulletin is a massacre at the Western Wall. there are also many widows in the comYou should also imagine yourself much Two armed Palestinians succeeded in penmore self-confident, loved and respected munity living with their children in a UN etrating security, entered the place and shot tent, since the Palestinian tanks destroyed by others worldwide, and in addition to people without mercy. The news reveals their homes and killed their husbands. all of this living in peace. that according to medical tests taken later Now let us try to leave the world of imImagine - but I won’t go on, because the they had mental complexes, so no legal scene is too depressing. But my idea is to agination for a while and think about procedure can be taken to punish them. Imagine that the third item is a familiar get you to imagine for a minute suffering some solutions to our own problems, story of Israeli suffering at the checkpoints, yourselves in the inverted ways I’ve dewhich would seriously help stop others’ especially that checkpoint at French Hill. scribed. How do you feel? suffering.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004


By: Loor Awwad, Palestine

house. Interruptions in school have made it hard for us to compensate what we have lost in particular, the fun part of being students because of a lack of entertainment.

visit places, go to the beach, and so on. Unfortunately, I have been deprived of all this because of the Israeli incursions and Ever since I could remember, the Israeli Palestinian conflict has been part of my checkpoints. life. Even when I was a What is more frustrating small child, I could alis that I can’t practice the normal life other ways sense problems and I am just a Palestinian teenager, ... a teenteenagers take for the hatred between both ager with needs. I need to go out, see the world, granted. For example, sides. As a Palestinian visit places, go to the beach, and so on. teenager, I look at the sometimes curfews impact of this conflict mean that I can’t visit from a number of differmy friends or plan any activity with them. I feel lucky sometimes ent angles. We don’t go on any school trips or do be able to afford to use the phone to call As a student, I have been suffering from any extra-curricular activities due to the the Israeli invasions. Many times, I my friends, when many other teenagers terrible situation we encounter daily. can’t do this. couldn’t get to school and have lost many When I look at the other side of me, the As a teenager who is living in a tense atdays of studying. I lost a lot of time which real part of me, and the part of me where mosphere, I wish that I could live in a I could have used in many ways. I also I am just a Palestinian teenager, I find a peaceful place, or in a place where I can had a hard time studying because of the teenager like any other, a teenager with live normally like any person my age. bombing and explosions around our needs. I need to go out, see the world,


How it feels being a Palestinian Teenager

Space To Talk Meetings and the Foundation of Peace By: Luna Jammal, Arab Israeli

Representatives from each side must sit together, look for answers, and try to approach a truce. As representative of the 11th grade My heart is with my brothers, the committee of the Convent Of Nazareth Palestinians. And I sympathize with them, school, I had been given the honor of with their sorrow and grief. War is speaking to a group of ladies and destruction, hatred and misery; while gentlemen gathered from all over the peace is love and world in order to discuss prosperity. It takes years peace in the Middle East. to build a home, but it I was requested to make War is destruction, hatred and misery; while takes only few seconds a speech on behalf of my peace is love and prosperity. It takes years to build a to destroy it. class about the unique home, but it takes only few seconds to destroy it. It is necessary to have peace project our school consciousness in order is involved in. to implement the peace My school and a Jewish process. Someone has to take the first step. school from Petach Tikva called Ehad neighbours and brothers the Palestinians. Unfortunately, both sides think that what Innocent people are being killed from ha’am have been organizing coexistence they are doing is the right thing. And meetings. The meetings’ purpose is to get both sides, children, women, and old meanwhile people are being killed and to know Jewish teenagers and to share people. The number of terror attacks is we are living in tension. increasing daily. Why should we live in experiences with them. It was amazing I truly hope that these simple meetings such a situation and in such fear? We must to find out that we have many things in between us are the foundation of a peace common and even similar opinions about stop this bloodshed. process between our peoples, and the peace. I believe that we made our first I believe that negotiation is the only seeds for building our future together. solution to the crisis in the Middle East. step in the long journey to reach peace.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004


As a resident in Haifa, I can tell you that Haifa is a mixture of four religions: Christians, Moslems, Jews, and Bahais. All of us live here in harmony and peace. Unfortunately, this atmosphere doesn’t prevail in all the cities in Israel. Also we are not living in peace with our

By: Hillel Schattner, Israel A few weeks ago I read something quite funny. I read an article written by Moshe Arens, a former Likud Defence Minister, who claimed that terror is the greatest problem that Israel faces today rather than the demographic problem that the Labour party claims. The funny thing about it was the quotation that Arens gave in his headline, the slogan of Clinton’s 1992 election campaign, “It’s the economy, stupid”, which had made the economy the most important issue of those elections. Arens suggested that in Israel, the Likud party should use the slogan “It’s the terror, stupid.” Yet it would have been a better article if Arens had kept the original slogan, because believe it or not, it also applies in Israel. The greatest problem in Israel today is neither the terror, nor the demographic problem, rather it is the economy. Even if the Likud people try to explain to us why we haven’t yet seen the peace and security they promised, and to convince us that the current situation is bearable because it will be resolved any minute (though this minute has not come round in the last 3 years), they will struggle to explain the collapsing economy in Israel without connecting it to the war policy that they have adopted.


It’s the Economy, The Greatest Stupid! Problem Faced by Israel A recession that has lasted since Netanyahu’s time, more than 300,000 people unemployed, a collapsing social system, businesses going bankrupt daily, crime rates reaching record levels, and an education system in crisis are just some of the aspects of our current situation. All of it is happening because of the government policy. Because of government policy there is no foreign investment in Israel, only recession and unemployment. Because of it most of the budget is given to the army and the settlements and there is little money left for the police to prevent crime, for people with needs and for education. This link to government policy shows that the economic solution is a peace process. A peace process will bring investors to Israel, a peace process will enable us to invest in education, in the social system and in internal security instead of in the army and the settlements. Therefore Mr Arens, perhaps by accident something smart has come out of your mouth. Make sure that your party understands it before the voters do.

The land was mine long before I was the land’s (Part I) By Jihan Abdallah, Palestine Having lived in the Middle East for eighteen years, I have witnessed, heard, and lived through many struggles. The suffering, injustice, and violence that I have seen have affected me so much that they have become an ordinary part of my life. For a while, I forgot that life is not supposed to be like this. But in my search for answers, I found more questions; and

while looking for explanations, I only stumbled upon more doubts. The more I read about my nation’s history the more I was saddened. The more elderly people I questioned the more I was hurt. I am quite certain that my people and I are not supposed to be treated in this manner. This country was rightfully mine, but was taken away long before I was born. Properties were confiscated, people killed or moved, and the name of my country and

its cities was changed. The region has been distorted almost beyond recognition. But the people have not changed. The language, religion, heritage, and culture are still very much intact, even if nearly everything else has been stripped from the Palestinian people. But I remain firm in the sense that I am Palestinian. I am bound to the region, as I am indebted to it. Not with my death, but surely with my life. Because the land was mine long before I was the land’s.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004


Hope is the Key © Shaml- Ramallah


The Struggle of the Palestinian Refugees By: Mais Yahya, Palestine Even after fifty five years the Palestinian refugees are still considered to be at the heart of the Palestinian cause. Even after fifty five years they are still holding onto their keys hoping to return to their homes and lands. With each passing year the population of Palestinian refugees in the Arab world and beyond increases. The situation is more and more complicated, especially in the crowded refugee camps in countries such as Jordan and Lebanon, where Palestinians live in hard circumstances and suffer from a lack of water, food, education, and other social and health services. These people who face a basic struggle every single day, still have hope. They still insist on getting home, on their right of

Palestinian Refugees in 1948 return. It is this insistence that enables them to live in dignity. At the time of writing, 3,172,641 refugees

What Does a


Mean to You?

By: Lior Mashiach, Israel Whenever I think about the conflict, my thoughts keep searching for a solution - a solution for the Middle East conflict that would leave all sides as satisfied as possible. The dictionary defines the word “solution” as “an action or process of solving a problem.” A solution is not something that everybody agrees on unanimously; what we can all agree on though is that it has to be an action. Which is to say that in order to move forward we need to do something and not just talk about it. The current situation cannot stay the way it is


Crossing Borders May/June 2004

now; we have to start a change. The first essential thing is to find someone from the other side who you can talk to, because when a person is coming to discus a solution and act on it, then he has to come with an open mind. If both sides come only ready to put their heads against the wall, no good will come out of it. If one side comes with a target of 100% for his people, he can just forget about getting anywhere. A solution is not an easy thing to find, far from it. But when two sides are eager enough to try doing their best, a solution is an action that is possible.

live outside their homes in Palestine, 991,577 of them live in refugee camps in Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria. They are all Palestinians who left their lands due to the military force of the Israeli army during the Nakba of 1948. During the Nakba, Palestinians lost more than houses and properties, they lost their homeland. Even though the whole world ignores their right to return to their lands, Palestinian refugees refuse to give up. Despite their hard life, they are proud of who they are. They are proud of their Palestinian identity, and endure the harshness of their economic situation. Instead they decide to keep hoping, and to pass their hope on to the coming generations - so that they too keep their keys and their memories, so that they prove to the world that their case is not a question of time. Rather it is a question of existence, of people who are struggling for their human rights and refusing to give up on their humanity. Or give up on the humanity of the world around them.

By: Danielle Frenkel, Israel Terrorists, bloodthirsty, animals, are just a few things that describe humans of this generation. People are becoming blind to what they have become, until they can’t value life anymore. Even an animal is afraid of fire, but “man” is no longer afraid of anything. A beast will torture its prey to feed itself, but some humans do it for entertainment. So what kind of a beast are we? On 16 October 2001, the lynching of two soldiers occurred in Ramallah. The soldiers were taken to a Palestinian police station where they were tortured before they died. After killing the soldiers, the bodies were thrown outside and were abused. In Islam, of course, it is forbidden to abuse dead bodies; you must honour the dead. Since this incident, there have been more soldiers in the villages. But it doesn’t mean that the killings have stopped, nor that they have killed only combatants and spared innocent civilians.

At the beginning of the Intifada, an 8 year old boy Mohammed Al-Dura got shot in the head by Israeli soldiers while he was on the battlefield in Nezarim, and he died in his father’s arms. I will always remember the pictures, and the thoughts of shock and guilt I had about a small boy who

Remember the First Time? You Became Conscious of the Conflict By: Sami Habash, Palestine It was a damp autumn day. I was a seven year old primary school pupil, getting ready to go to school. My house’s position could not have been better. It was a beautiful apartment in a tall apartment block, with two gardens, wide garages, basketball court, and overlooking the centre of Beit Hanina. That day, on the 5-minute drive to school, I realized that position of my house was no longer so great. My father suddenly stopped, and I could clearly see why. The

view was of an incredible number of cars standing in a row, totally motionless. It was shocking. At that time, I was too innocent to understand what a “checkpoint” meant. My father looked extremely uncomfortable. As a man experienced in life, he knew this to be the first step of a long coming stream of darkness. Of course, I arrived late to school after a drive that now took 5 minutes, plus one hour’s wait. I was not the only one to suffer. The checkpoint created an atmosphere of disruption and tension among the pupils and teachers. From that day, I began to adjust

lost his life. I felt the same shock two years ago, when a ten month old baby, Shalhevet Pas, was shot in the head in her pram in Hebron. Again she was shot in front of her father. How can you kill a baby without pangs of conscience? Some Palestinians say that they are afraid of what the Israeli soldiers might do to them, so I suppose that this lynch was an act of fear. Maybe the Israeli soldiers look scary and even threatening, but it’s their job: To protect their country. So what kind of an animal are we? One who’s anxious for blood? Or maybe we are looking for misery. We have to start being human, we have to stop the growth of hatred, and it has to start from us. It is hard to see what has happened to us. We have become so indifferent to all the horrors in our crazy world.

to checkpoints, curfews, soldiers and to many other things that I had been unconscious of before. Now, I still feel sad, but no longer surprised when I hear there are six hundred checkpoints in the West Bank, when I see tens and even hundreds of houses being demolished in a few days, when I watch Palestinian lands being confiscated, and most recently, when I learned about the extension of a wall standing as a chain around and between Palestinian cities, suffocating the dream of a Palestinian state. In the end, nobody hates to live in peace. I believe in co-existence between Arabs and Jewish Israelis, especially when the process begins among youth. I wish for co-existence between youth of both sides, who will one day grow to be the leading powers of their countries, that this could be the solution for the long torture of both sides. I became conscious of this torture suddenly through my first experience at the age of seven. Only God knows if I will be conscious when it comes to an end.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004


What Kind of Animals? Why Have We Become So Indifferent to Killing?



Choose Life What We Should Realize About Ending the Conflict By: Abduljawwad Saleh, Palestine Since I was born, I realized that I am a Palestinian. It is a reality that is easy to realize. I realized it when I saw the picture of a handsome man hanging on our wall. When I asked who he was I was shocked to be told he was my uncle, killed in the Middle East conflict. When I asked why I have to cross the border to visit my grandfather, I was told that my grandfather was deported and he can’t come to visit our house in his home town Al-Bireh. This is what it means to live under Occupation. Nothing is normal, nothing goes the way it should. Here everything is different: schools don’t last nine months, sometimes they last the

whole year. We could have our summer vacation in winter, when the Israeli tanks are blocking the roads to school and threatening any moving object. Here houses are changed into football pitches, as they are the only available places to practise. Here the only park you can dream of visiting is your own garden, if of course you are lucky enough to have one. The only hobby is fighting with your brothers and sisters, and the only sounds you listen to are those of bombing and shooting. Being a Palestinian is not hard to realize. The hope for change in any of this gloomy reality is to believe deeply that it can be changed. The Israelis have to realize that there will always be Palestinians living

next door and they are not going to vanish. They should come to realize this by changing the gloomy reality. We as Palestinians need to have a normal life, a normal country, a normal situation. We need to be able to see joy in being Palestinians, and to have security and dignity. We need a state. If we were given the chance to live normally, we could then choose life. If we were given the chance to experience joy and happiness, of course we would choose happiness and joy. The path to peace for all is life. People in the Middle East should choose life for all. This will only happen if Israelis end their Occupation on the Palestinian land and Palestinians are given the chance to be a free nation.

Different Papers, Security Measures Same Blood Humiliate Palestinians and Arab Israelis By: Marianna Khoury, Arab Israeli

my body, while everyone was looking. I felt so small, so weak, and I wished I would disappear. Two months ago I was thrilled to particiShe asked me to take my boots off - just pate in the CB seminar in Turkey. for the record, my boots aren’t high heels At the airport I met the rest of the Arabor anything - and she took them for a Israeli group, and later on we met the check. And there I was, sitPalestinians. I was curiting in the duty free, with ous to see the passport She put this metal detector machine all over my bare feet, humiliated, having that the Palestinians were holding, so I asked Jihan, body, while everyone was looking. I felt so small, people staring at me as if I was a criminal. I felt like cryone of the Palestinian so weak, and I wished I would disappear. ing, not because I was scared group, to show me hers. or anything. It was the anger It said she was Jordanian. and humiliation. I felt like shouting! Five For a second or two I was shocked and everything passed smoothly. minutes later the lady came back with the surprised, then I remembered what has Just when I was about to enter the duty boots. She said “have a nice flight.” I rebecome taken for granted. free, there was a last security check, member that, just as she handed me the The security guys started asking us the where they check the hand luggage. I was boots, I looked at her and thought to mynormal questions: if we packed alone and asked to stand aside and wait. I got conself: “you and the Palestinians might be if someone gave us a present. Then they fused. A security woman came to me and holding different papers, but you still have put our bags through a machine and eveasked me to spread my arms and legs. She the same blood.” rything went fine. I remember I watched put this metal detector machine all over


Crossing Borders May/June 2004

the Palestinians being asked to open all their bags, and checking their clothes, and in that moment I thought to myself, “Marianna, you’re so lucky you have an Israeli passport.” Having that sense of selfish relief I went for the passport check and

Time to End

By: Hillel Schattner, Israel place in Israel. People in Israel didn’t Again the Israeli government had made a The Israeli public is not stupid. Although examine this assassination from the mistake. Again the Israeli public will pay Netanyahu claims that the recession is perspective of revenge, but thought the price. This routine has been familiar over, and tells people that they should go strategically in terms of loss and gain. to Israelis over the last 3 years. This time and work, they know they have nowhere the mistake was the to go. assassination of Sheikh The Palestinians are not The Israeli public also realized that Yaseen. stupid either. Although the assassination policy, which is the only One of the customs of Sharon is trying to Passover, the Jewish holiday, “educate” them that kind of policy that the government has, is is to ask, “what is the stopping terror is in their failing in every field. difference between the interests, they know they Passover evening from all have no partner for peace The Israeli public also realized that the other evenings?” Similarly, we could ask, on the Israeli side. That’s right, they have assassination policy, which is the only what is difference between this no Israeli partner while the Israeli Prime kind of policy that the government has, is assassination and all the previous Minister continues to refuse to meet his failing in every field. The policy of assassinations? The difference is that the Palestinian counterpart. assassinating terrorists is failing, since 950 Israelis have started to understand. There is already a majority in Israel that Israelis have been killed, the policy of Contrary to previous assassinations, not supports new elections. But there is one assassinating the welfare state and one person in Israel felt any happier or more Israeli person who needs to realize employment is failing, since there are safer afterwards. Everybody knew that something very basic. Mr. Sharon, your 300,000 people unemployed in Israel. terrible terror attacks are about to take time is past.



i t a n i s s a s s A

The Death of Shekih Yaseen By: Osama Al-Zboun, Jordan When you think of a hero nowadays, who comes to your mind? To me, the first person who comes to mind, is Sheikh Ahmad Yaseen who fought for the right of his people and for their freedom from the Israeli Occupation that has caused hatred, oppression, violence, and torture to the Palestinians over the past 35 years. This handicapped man caused fear and horror among the Israeli people. This man dedicated his life to fight the Israeli Occupation which was the main cause of the immigration of more

then one million Palestinians to neighboring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. He fought for justice and freedom. He gave all the Arabs and Palestinians the hope that Palestine will gain its freedom. He taught them not to give up at all.

He continuously and consistently fought for the right to live freely and gain independence from oppression. Tragically, he was assassinated by the hands of cruelty and hatred, who killed this old handicapped man in a cold-blooded way on March 22, 2004 in Gaza. He died after pledging his life to the cause of freedom the previous night and praying to God, asking him for forgiveness. We should pay our respects to him for the honour of his life and death.


d e t c u d b A e


What Would You Do If Your Home Was Taken? By: Nabil Shalabi, Jordan Imagine, you are sitting on your chair smoking your pipe, sipping your hot cup of coffee, when suddenly the doorbell rings. You go and open it and some guy looking tired and weak asks for your help and shelter. You invite him in, give him some food and something to drink. Then he asks you if he can stay over for the night, at the beginning you hesitate, but then you think to yourself, “I will be doing something good and God will reward me for it,” so you tell him that he can stay. Next morning you leave him at home, and go to work. Eight hours of hard work pass by and it is time to go home. On your doorstep, you take your key out from your pocket and try to open the door, but it doesn’t open. You think that there is something wrong with the key, so you knock on the door hoping that that guy is still there, and he is. But when he opens he

By: Lena Najdi, Palestine One day, while I was watching TV, I saw my maths teacher on the news. I asked myself, what was she doing there? I raised the TV volume and sat quietly concentrating on what she said. She said that while she was in the kitchen cleaning the dishes, the door bell had rung accompanied by heavy knocks on the door. When her husband opened the

A Place for the Night 10

What Uninvited Guests Leave Behind Crossing Borders May/June 2004

acts like he doesn’t know you. You are now feeling a bit weird about what’s happening, and you think it’s a joke. But it isn’t. You start feeling so mad that the vein on your forehead is going to explode. You try to push the door open but you can’t. You push and you push but no matter how hard you push, the situation seems more and more stuck. Finally you leave to get help from your neighbours, but all the neighbours seem too busy to care. You try to seek help from the law, but as weird as it seems the law has turned a blind eye, and if anything has taken the new occupant’s side. After you have run out of choices you decide to take matters into your own hands. But whenever you do something to take back your home you are called a terrorist and everybody turns against you. If this were your situation, what advice would you have?

door, he had found a number of Israeli soldiers who entered their home fiercely without telling the couple what was going on or what they were looking for. They searched the house and when they had finished searching, they decided to spend the night there. The newscast finished. I felt sorry for my teacher, and for every person whose homes and private space are attacked in such a way. The next day I saw my teacher at school. She said that she still felt very angry and violated, but there was nothing she could do. She was asked about what the soldiers did during the night. She said that when they finished searching the house, they gathered in the sitting room and ate everything in the fridge and behaved like wild animals, breaking and destroying anything their hands could reach, and that the house now needed to be redecorated. If you ever stop to ask, why do soldiers do things like this? Someone will tell you: it is the Occupation, and the Israeli soldiers need a place for the night.

of DeMinister er of n w o is g , and h the dan generals ed him about ed to id ’t c n e s e d rn o a haron ; he d nce w S rs fe , a a e ll me z y a te 0 l you’l is in 5 g off G s w in ri o s c N lo . ic c s ssing d of this es, econom approve e the cro uthoriz s a is d lo t c n o s e liam nd care. military Israel this par ernment takes a why the hattner, t ry law v c s e . Every S o v re g l E te le is il in th a pattern aron By: H y his ision ict in lan. re b c fl p e e n n h d o e c e v ry t c ri to e n S ti ev l h no is d ilita ided that Arie ther it’s We can ampaign l. Sharon dec t of the m inister”. Ariel c n u o ig ry t a e x e p v e g e a m he a e M rviv f any “We can major c rime Minister, w eal, or litical su not because o Mr. Prim words at every o , p to te u d in P e in a d r ese aza POW d nee any m leads as the senio heard th ment, a out of G ut because he e e h t s g th e it a ecurity a g h t w g u n n o e ld of the s Sharo ice, b ing ab the dis has he n v lk o r d e a ti ta h . a t c n r rs in li o e a ti p rm need fo pub a last ye consulta the dete otivated by his e Israeli a om Gaz ver the th fr o n t p in n rs ro to . e e e s a ir m n m ic a do IDF off akes, Sh ed land aff isengage ch an agreefence, is al. It is e Greek is ery move he m use the d rea l surviv ecid l a d l pays th t il c e n a ti w ra li th ro v We will e Is a o e h p ty d W S e ri n . . k o a s h d li th c h n tu y t u u a e a it p A Ye l to lw nw rm, as an im the Palestinian rity control, is specia shamefu in the short-te operatio wal cu gave it h wal without co ith it e ra s r w d t ir h fo e n it le e il th w m er A pric dra ne. re w thority. side ip is und on with e long o at we a out the nian Au from the other This Gaza Str l announce th lso in th ti . s a plain ab tinm le m e a o P c th lil e e e A h s w is w th it . s e w m re n a w o ro g P and the le ny p alesnizati So befo otiatin ithout a ense of lesith the P ys. or orga s sset w a tart neg w rr e s l P n t a te e K n to ic e o th fl g in irrati stupid of da to let arm th r e ent con d is e n rr e d tt in o e u a c n s n to m ll a e li in a dow rae s d ca ed way th ians, or be over the Liku gh the Is y calm things ese word ld u th in u o m o o d Arrd th fr w a te e s r o orit nt v has h fect of ing. tinian membe ian Auth eli governme of killing ne noth netic de Minister o n n e e d ti g w m s t o ri a a r P h u th ra it The ck o e Is and olicy it, “ rror; ould che lity. IDF Gaza, th roving a new p h nd again een hurt by te orst s e a e th w in h , a g ” a g a b ou w on abs app as. Alth ntry has l has its se of rati favor of of Ham tten sen The cou ered him. Israe rs ro e d a le the oth hasn’t b


t n e m e g a g Disen ense l Only From One Perspective S tiona a R m e r o A r FIsrael’s Policies

Inside the Interior Ministry The Palestinian Experience of the Israeli Interior Ministry By: Maher Zaghloul, Palestine Palestinians holding Israeli identity cards have long been treated as in-human beings. For instance, they always face a real struggle with the Israeli Ministry of Interior to get their documents. They have to wait outside the Ministry in winter in the rain and cold weather, as well as in the peak of the summer heat to have the opportunity to get their documents. They queue for long hours without any kind of facilities. There is no place to rest and no shelter, except for the street. Ladies holding their babies are forced to stand still for hours without even water available. After all this waiting, many applicants find that they cannot enter the Ministry that day. So they have to go home and come again the next day. Some of them prefer to sleep a day before in front of the Ministry so as to be first in the queue, hoping to get their opportunity to enter. Usually the Ministry opens at 8 in the morning. At 8.30am they allow 20-30

Crossing Borders May/June 2004

people in, while there are over a hundred standing in queue. If the officials are in a good mood, then at midday they allow another 20-30 to pass, and the guard shouts out to the rest of the queue that the Ministry is closed, and people should return tomorrow. Inside the staff do not do their job smoothly, but complete documents slowly so the applicants have to stay in the Ministry for hours. While the employees take many breaks for drinks and food, the poor applicants are deprived of even a cup of water. If we compare the Ministry of Interior for Palestinians which is located in East Jeru-

salem, with the one located in West Jerusalem for the Israelis, we can see the discrimination. The Israelis do not have to stand outside queuing in the rain and sun; they are seated inside in an air-conditioned hall with a cafeteria and clean toilet. Also their papers are completed within a few minutes. I faced the above situation recently. I tried several times to go to the Ministry and stand in queue for several hours in order to obtain a travel document. I hope Israeli officials can erase such discrimination between the two parties, so we can live with dignity and feel that our rights are respected.



Who Are We? Identity Problems for Arabs inside Israel By: Maram Bader, Arab Israeli All teenagers deal with different conflicts, but Arab teenagers who live in Israel have to deal with another kind of conflict which is over their nationality and identity. Most people are able to define themselves according to their nationality, but Arab teenagers in Israel have a trouble with defining themselves: are they Palestinians or Israelis? When any kind of event takes a place, especially a military action, and whether it occurs in Israel or in the West Bank, they don’t know which side to choose, which side is justified in its actions, and where they fit in this whole mess. Some choose to define themselves as Palestinians, others define themselves as Israelis, while others like me, choose to say: I am an Arab and that’s all. When people choose this category, it means that they feel that actually they don’t belong to either country or either side, rather they are hung up in the air. I am an Arab and I have an Israeli identity card. But since Israel is a country which defines itself as a Jewish country, this is puzzling. I am not Jewish, I am an Arab. So how can I belong to a country that doesn’t see me as part of it? I hope that some day I will find the answer to this question so that I would be able to decide who I am. And I hope the same for every Arab in this country.

The land was mine long before I was the land’s (Part II) By: Jihan Abdallah,Palestine

protects himself, his family, a friend, or property it is considered aggression. Many Israelis, without shame or regard, stick racist and offensive bumper stickers on

has so much pride, it surprises me. He treats me like he is my superior. It is not Most nations nowadays promote and enpossible for a teenager to think himself or courage patriotism. National anthems are herself as better than anyone unless he sung at schools or public has been told so. A soldier events and flags are hung in treats his own superiors with They are trained to be loyal to their nation and ultimate obedience and hunumerous places. Loyalty to one’s country is expected to be proud of who they are. They are expected to mility; but treats an older Paland even required. But for estinian gentleman or lady serve their country’s army with pride. But if a Pal- with complete disregard and Palestinians, promoting patriotism has been deemed estinian protects himself, his family, a friend, disrespect. unacceptable. It is considI personally refuse to be or property it is considered aggression. ered terror or anti-Semitism. treated in that manner; and Israeli youths are taught am furious when I witness it. every aspect of the region’s Palestinians should not allow history. They are trained to be loyal to their cars. Yet if a Palestinian writes a poanybody to antagonize them or treat them their nation and to be proud of who they litical statement on a wall, he is jailed. with condescension. Because this land Everyday, I am confronted with similar are. They are expected to serve their counwas ours long before anybody claimed it try’s army with pride. But if a Palestinian realities. An Israeli soldier, who is my age, as theirs.


Crossing Borders May/June 2004

Blocked by the Separation Wall

By: Ashira Ramadan, Palestine a lot of things, and has Living in Palestine has taught me I am. I have learned to that had a great effect on the person managed to stay alive have I and ly, look at things different es. and survive in the bad circumstanc a problem in getting have still I that gs thin the of one But for tomorrow or for plan ot cann used to is the fact that you e is someone dying or a anything because every day ther policies. When I leave change in politics or in government back alive or in a bag. ing com my house I never know if am dering what bad news won start I s ring ne Every time the pho I am going to hear. theid wall I no longer And now with the building of the apar in this country. This e peac in eve know anything, or beli ble to achieve. wall is going to make peace impossi could happen. At the this What I don’t understand is how about the wall but I hear to used beginning of the year, I actually build it. I didnít never believed that Israel would pt the building of a wall believe that the world would acce

and that will build more that will kill any chance of peace hatred between the two people. foot high concrete walls, But I believe it now. I saw the 25 ng closer and closer to getti is it and and the electric fences, to separate me from my me. This apartheid wall is going rate me from my unisepa family and friends. It might even g. It is making peoythin ever y awa versity. It is going to take country into ghettos and ple starve to death. It is turning my prisoners. into into big prisons and all my people w, I used to be able orro tom for I will never be able to plan for freedom. But and e peac for e hop t to dream or at leas ms. This wall is drea my now they have also deprived me of sun. gradually blocking us from the

Children Pay the Price of War


Blocking Us From A Tale of T w o A the Sun l i s Dreams and Plans By: Anhar Aloush, Arab Israeli I recently watched a film on AlJazeera channel called “A Tale of Two Alis.” The film tells the story of two young Iraqi children, Ali Abbas and Ali Abdallah, who were exposed to an American strike during the American-Iraqi war in 2003. As a result of these attacks, both children lost their families and some parts of their bodies. Ali Abbas lost his hands. Can you imagine yourself without your hands? What a life it would be not being able to eat, write, play as befo re. How difficult would it be, especially with no fam ily to encourage you or stand with you through such a tribulation. Ali Abdallah lost his left eye and his nose. He suffered many painful plastic surgerie s, as an attempt to make his face seem regular. All the operations were successful. However, he will live with permanent deformation, which will prev ent him from living his life as a regular human bein g. The film made me cry a lot, espe cially when the doctor held Ali Abdallah to the mirr or to show him the reflection of his face. The doctor asked him how he felt. It was a painful scene. The re was a shy silence. Ali put his hand over his face to hide his deformation, and in a low voice said , “Ai the children will laugh at me.” After watching this film, I sat alone and reflecting on our situation in the world today, where the strong eats the weak. I asked myself: wha t did these children do to deserve to be punishe d in this way, so that they will live their whole lives as orphans and handicapped human beings? Why can we not live in peace? I am sure that if we treat people as we should, we will reach a peace that unites all regi ons, and build a world where we can gather und er relations of cosmopolitanism and universalism , or more simply, where we can gather together in peac e.


Crossing Borders May/June 2004

How Perfumes are Created SOCIETY

By: Sarah Fanous, Jordan Natural perfumes are a mixture of different substances. Extracts from the jasmine flower, for example, form part of many commercial perfumes and have more than 200 parts. These range from jasmine lactones that have pleasant smell, to insole, which in large amounts has an unpleasant smell, but in tiny amounts has a floral scent. Natural perfumes are obtained from plants through a separation process known as distillation. These perfumes are mostly oily materials, which can be taken from flowers, fruits, seeds, woods, branches and leaves, bark or roots. Everyone, from every period and culture, has enjoyed the

together to create a perfume. Whereas a simple perfume may contain blend of 1030 materials, more sophisticated perfumes have at least 50 to 100 substances. In the most extreme case, many hundreds of materials may be blended together. Different fragrances tend to be used in different types of cosmetics. such as rose, jasmine, lily of the valley and lilac are normally used for lotion and creams. But floral fragrances have recently become more popular. There is currently an overall trend toward subtle fragrances. Men and women have different preferences in terms of the strength of a fragrance. The International Fragrance Association has determined the guidelines for the safe use of perfume ingredients and these are followed by the manufacturers of cosmetic fragrances worldwide. In addition, extensive research is being conducted into new and existing perfumery materials to ensure safe cosmetics.

scents of flowers. Natural extracts from the scent glands of animals such as musk deer have been used for centuries in perfumes. Musk was once the most important raw perfumery material. It has always been difficult to get and is extremely expensive, as the male musk deer lives in remote and mountainous regions. The musk deer is now extremely rare. Nevertheless, the perfume industry has developed chemicals that copy the scents of these animals, which it now mixes in large amounts cheaply. Experts who create perfumes for fragrances and cosmetics are called Perfumers. They make their selection from about 500 natural raw materials and 1,000 chemicals which they blend

The Teenager’s Guide To:

Having Fun By: Mira Ansari, Palestine Fun is a word that holds many meanings. Like any word it’s easy to say, and not nearly so easy to have, especially if you’re a teenager. Why is this? - because adolescence is the most complicated stage in a person’s life. It is the stage where we get confused by our minds and our hearts. We flow with emotions, and drown in decisions. And having fun becomes harder and harder, or it becomes way too easy. Teenagers either stress themselves with work, problems and decisions which they make a big deal out of. Or they live life easily, ignoring their obstacles instead of facing them, and assuming that everything revolves around them. In this sense, fun is like chocolate. You get your share and you feel happy; you eat too much and you feel sick. One piece of advice I can give you to learn more about teenagers lives and strugWhen? gles, and so you can face


Fun is like chocolate. You even get your share and you feel happy; you eat too much and you feel sick.

What? Who?

your difficulties with an open mind, is to read a great book called “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.” The first time I heard this book’s name I couldn’t possibly imagine what chicken soup had to do with teenage life. I thought it sounded more like a cook book. Then I discovered the lovely meaning it has. In the introduction, it is written that when children get sick the parents feed them chicken soup, so they can feel better. The book works in the same way. It is full of people’s true stories from the teenage world, and they make every teenage soul feel good. At least, I felt that way. The book is full of teenagers writing about their experiences to help other teenagers understand their world better. Read it, and let the fun return to your life once again. It’s better than chocolate.

Discrimination Against Volunteers Who Live in Cities By: Sapir Atias, Israel What is the obvious thing to do, when a person wants to volunteer? Let him, of course. Well, apparently not. Not in our fine country, anyways. Let me tell you a story. A young girl, aged about 18, decided before going to the army to spend a year contributing to her community. The options were many. She could go and guide tours all over the country. Or be a sister to teenagers from an underprivileged background and help them find their way to a better life. She even could volunteer in a hospital, and bring smiles to those who need it the most. In each one of those options, she could be someone who changes people’s lives. So she did all she had to do, and sent a form saying she wanted to postpone her enlistment for a year, to do good deeds. The organization in charge, said nothing of the problems that might come her way during her search for a place where she would best fit in. But a while after, she received a letter say-

ing that she couldn’t postpone her enlistment through this organization (even though it was the only organization who offered the volunteering option), because she lived in the wrong place. At first, she accepted her fate, thinking, that maybe there was something wrong in the way she had applied. This changed when she found out that she wasn’t the only one. Apparently, the Department of Defence has decided that only those who live in a kibbutz can perform this kind of voluntary year, which is called “Shnat Sherut”. Now, does this seem logical? That a person should be denied to do good, just because he was born in a city? Does it seem logical, that in a humanitarian country, the Department of Defence, will deny a person’s good will? Why put quotas on something so important, when good people are hard to find? There is no difference between people living in a kibbutz to people living in a city. There is no proof, that one will do a better job than the other. This is a story of discrimination. My discrimination.

Time For Change By: Joseph Hodali, Palestine Fifty years ago, women in Palestine did not have many chances or opportunities to work, nor were there any rights that protected them in their lives. In the past if a woman wanted to work in a school, university or business, she would not be able to because her husband often did not accept the idea. People thought that women should obey their husbands or parents even if they hit or oppressed them. At that time, there were no institutions or associations that defended the rights of women. Nowadays, many societies have dropped the idea that women do not have any rights, and so women have taken up good positions in society and become freer. In

the past, women could not work, but now they have become an important part of the working world. Here in Palestine, women have done much for our society. They have taken up good positions, and teach in schools and universities. They can also hold high responsibilities like being Mayor. Today nobody can deny that women can become great, and that behind every great man there is a greater woman. There is also recognition that women are also great when raising their children and taking care of them. This is one of women’s responsibilities in life besides work. These days, women can do anything. They get the same pay for their work that men do, since there is no difference between them. They make the same efforts


Why Kibbutzniks Make Better Volunteers

Women in Palestine that men give, and can do difficult jobs such as being a pilot, mechanical engineer, or sailor. Through these jobs women have got their independence and become their own boss in dealing with their lives. Nobody knows what will happen in the future, because everything in the world is changing. The problem is that the world is turning into a battlefield between countries and even between humans themselves. Some people expect the future to be full of new technologies and machines, such that women could find themselves lost in the world if they are ignored by this change. However, there are many institutions and associations that help and can defend women’s rights, so they can do anything and achieve their dreams.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004



The Jews’ Long Term memory By: Sivan Trajtenberg, Israel


There is a story told that Napoleon once passed a synagogue, where he found all the Jews weeping on the floor. He asked, “What tragedy has overcome you?” A Jew answered, “We are mourning the destruction of the Temple”. Aghast, Napoleon responded, “Which Temple, when was it destroyed?” “The Temple in Jerusalem, destroyed some 1,800 years ago”. Astounded, Napoleon replied, “A people who remember something for 1,800 years, have a long future ahead.” Many people question the need of Israelis to commemorate past injustices. In our prayers we refer to the exodus from Egypt, we remember the crusades, and the exile from Spain. We recall the beginnings of Zionism, and we cry for the fallen on Israel’s Memorial Day and the Holocaust Memorial Day. It is a great burden for a child to carry such a past on his back. Why then, do we, as Israelis, as Jews, have this great need to memorialize everything? It is a religious duty to remember events such as Passover or Hanukah. The greatest events in Judaism, like “Leil Haseder” in Passover, are acts of remembering. Even non-religious Jews keep this ritual. The whole family gathers around and reads from the “hagada” telling the exodus story: “In every generation, every man and child must see himself as though he came out of Egypt, and the more one tells of it, that is good.” The human race spends much time in the study of history to gain greater perspec-

Crossing Borders May/June 2004

tive on events of today, and to make sure the horrors of the past do not repeat themselves. The Jewish people know how important it is to insist on remembering the holocaust or even the murder of Prime Minister Rabin. This type of remembering both enriches the people historically and is a good warning. “Every man has a name.” The Jewish people remember those who have fallen: every year relatives go to pray on the

graves of those who have passed away. On “Yom Hazikaron” the whole country mourns for those who have fallen defending Israel. Every man deserves to be remembered after his death. Finally, one must know where you come from if you want to know where you are going. A big tree cannot stand without deep roots. Maybe the Jewish people have outlived other religions and peoples is because of this very reason: remembering.

Our Real Fortune Is Our Humanity By: Assem Abu Mallouh, Jordan God has blessed this beautiful planet on which we live with so many fortunes, though in his wisdom he has judged that these fortunes should be divided unevenly between countries and regions on this earth; some are rich with oil, agriculture, and status while others are poor, and others are desert and not so fortunate. Our country Jordan is a small country with poor fortunes, but rich in the wisdom of its leadership, as characterized by His Majesty the late King Al-Hussein bin Talal who led this country for almost half a

century. His Majesty invented the slogan, “Humanity is the most valuable thing we have, and it is our real fortune in Jordan.” He organized an educational revolution which over 20-30 years has become a design copied by all the Arab countries in the area. Through him, Jordan became and still is the main exporter of scientific brains to all neighbouring countries, just as rich countries export their industrial, agricultural, and other products. The economic and educational development that we see now in the Gulf countries especially is the product of these Jordanian scientific brains.

Graduates, on the other hand, hurry with enthusiasm to work, but many get disapThis is a sentence you hear a lot today in pointed when they don’t find the job they the Gaza Strip. I have heard it said by dreamed of. Also there are huge demands many students. And I’ve questioned myfor them to provide money to support their self, Why don’t I say the same?î Well, as younger brothers and sisters. So they tend a student in Gaza, my feelto find any job, like buildings are the same as other ing, even though this The educational system in Palestine has residents, but for me educadoesn’t fit their degree. many defects. It is monotonous because it is tion is the only available way When younger students to build my future and my see these examples, they based on drills rather than creativity. country. think of dropping out of Yet, this attitude has not school from the beginning come from nowhere; there are many rearather than wasting time now. same, but most don’t have the choice of sons behind it. For many families in Gaza, a rich parent to work with. Sometimes I think they are right, but I also the family breadwinner has either lost his Unfortunately, the educational system in think that we shouldn’t surrender so easjob, or been killed or jailed. So, the famiily. We must keep on our education and Palestine has many defects. It is monotolies often need someone to take over this nous because it is based on drills rather face all the difficulties because it’s the role, and children are often the only essential basis for building our country than creativity. Also, the buildings lack choice left. Since school expenses are a Palestine. Although the challenge we face necessary equipment. Many buildings are great burden for them, they leave in oris difficult, we have to face it, because as very old and about to fall apart. Because der to work. our ancestors said, “After each night there of these reasons, school here does not Poverty sometimes is not the only reason. must be a morning.” attract students. I was surprised when a friend of mine, whose father is richer than others in Gaza, told the teacher that he was going to leave school in order to work in his father’s business. He felt he wasn’t benefiting from being at school. Many students feel the


“School is a Waste of Time” By: Nasser Barakat, Palestine

Do not Mess Mess with Me! The Neglected Danger of Drugs It is my duty to warn you that our children’s death warrant has arrived. It is here, it’s highly threatening and it’s hard to defeat! It spreads faster than a rumour in a small village. It harms more than an atomic bomb. It kills more surely than a bullet shot into the heart. I’m sad to present to you the latest star of show business, to declare that the Drugs fashion is among us! I think I can speak in the name of every worried parent or confused friend when I say that drugs are a complicated issue which must be handled with care. We can’t deny that the enemy is tough and strong, that’s for sure! Yet, it is time to face our fear, time to say stop! No more victims, it is our right and duty towards the coming generation. The drugs phenomenon is a daily matter that is being disregarded in some countries and territories. To be more specific, I mean the Middle East. The overwhelming security concerns in

The drugs phenomenon is a daily matter that is being disregarded in some countries and territories. To be more specific, I mean the Middle East.

© William Turnips

By: Qamar Daher, Arab Israeli

which we live are the first concern of almost ninety percent, if not more, of the people here. This distracts us from other factors that are leading to the disintegration of our society. Our social and economic status is going from bad to worse. Teenagers are turning to drugs as if they are the solution. Depressed, unemployed people are using drugs as if they are the cure. Imagine a patient who refuses to be treated, one who believes that the disease is the cure itself, even rejects the healing process. More and more people are being sucked into this back hole. If we don’t find a way and prepare the needed tools to fight back, our closest and dearest friends and even family members, might be sucked in too. This cruel, bitter truth about the power of drugs and its influence on our beloved ones should really reach home. We must stop the phenomenon. Time is running out, we must run too! I already started running. I hope I will see you beside me in the race!


Crossing Borders May/June 2004

Is Idealism Dead? SOCIETY

But Is Cynicism the Death of Us All? By: Neta Murray, Israel Teenagers in youth movements normally encounter two main reactions to their activity; either appreciation of what they are doing and of their commitment to making a difference, or a more negative reaction. The negative reaction can be an inability to understand why teenagers would work without a paycheck, or alternatively sarcastic and even disrespectful remarks about the “naive” ideals they try to follow. Yet in our situation today sarcasm and cynical thinking are our worst enemies. This sounds pretentious, but it is true. Being cynical is just a way to run away from your feelings, someone told me once. That person was right, though it took me a while to understand. Feelings are what make you care. When you’re being cynical, you just don’t care. A change cannot be made when people just make witty remarks and jokes. Sarcastic jokes and remarks can be very funny, but sarcasm cannot be a way of life. Unfortunately, not caring about anything other that yourself and your money has become too common in today’s world. A person has to live on something, it’s true, but why worry about it in your adolescence? Why let the stupid chase after money dictate your life? These two questions are important, however, they are a symptom of a much more disturbing

mindset; the continual cold calculation of your own benefits wherever you go. Why do it if you’re not getting paid? Wondered someone I told about my guide counseling in my youth movement, HaNoar Ha-Oved Ve Ha-Lomed. Indeed why should you spend your time contributing to society? It’s not like you’re getting paid, and it doesn’t help your future like studying maths and physics. Another person who heard about what I do was rather surprised: You’re such an idealist. Had I not known what idealist meant, I would have thought it was some sort of an insult. The tone she

By: Omar Hadidi, Jordan Can you imagine the smile you would have on your face if you could make more friends every day? How much easier would your life be if you got whatever you wanted easily? An important way to have a friend is to show your happiness when meeting them. Show them that you feel lucky to be meeting them. This explains, for example, why many people like dogs. A dog expresses delight simply at the sight of you, wagging its tail and jumping around you. It is a great gift to be able to attract people to you according to your behaviour. An important way to get what you want is to encourage someone by challenging them, and admiring their talents, as well as telling them that they are your only hope. Another way to have a charm and influence people around you is to smile. You can see the difference between a smiley face and a frowning one clearly. A beau-

was using indicated that idealism is a pretty bad thing. I thought that volunteering and idealism are good and important things. Apparently I’m wrong. In today’s world, not only do these things not matter, you’re not expected to know about them. Sixteen year olds are not supposed to volunteer out of naive idealism. And I thought the belief we can make a difference is one of youth’s trademarks.

tiful smile can be the best way to communicate and makes life much easier. Even if you are not in the mood, try acting. Also remember the importance of names. Obviously, do your best to avoid making mistakes with names, but also names can be used positively. A smart boy once wanted some friends not to harm his rabbits, so he named every rabbit after one of his friends. As a result, they liked the rabbits and even used to feed them daily. The last vital behaviour necessary for having many friends around you is to be a good listener, and to show that you are thirsty to know more about the person talking to you. Ask about their interests, about travels, family etc. Many people pretend to be sick with something when they are not. They are in need of a doctor because he can be a good listener. The doctor wants to know what’s inside the patient, what the patient is missing. So if you want to manipulate your friends, you should try the following: First, show care for others, make them feel they are the most important people on earth. Second, try to ask someone to do the things you need in an encouraging way, so that they feel like doing a favour for you. Third, smile. Fourth, care about names. And finally, keep listening.

The Teenager’s Guide To: 18

Manipulating Friends Crossing Borders May/June 2004

When is it Time? By: Nadine Ghalayini, Jordan I believe that a woman should be given every single right a man is given. Why should there be a difference? Is it because of different body parts? Is it because of hair length? Is because of different clothing? Well, I think that all these reasons and many more are superficial and hollow. A woman is equal to a man just like men are equal to each other. It should be a right for a woman to work for example, just like it is for a man. In some Middle Eastern countries, women are not allowed to go out in public. They might not be allowed to walk down the street to the market and buy something

to eat, but this is a worst-case scenario. Other countries are getting a little advanced in this field, but they’re still behind. Although this depends on the country’s society, places like Lebanon or Jordan are advancing in that women are allowed to work, allowed to vote, allowed to have their own opinions. But when you look closely, the limitations that women still have in these countries can be seen. God made men and God made women, so why aren’t the women treated equally? Why is it that the women are responsible for cleaning, cooking and looking after the children, while the men just sit and relax watching their favourite TV show? Why don’t they bother to help? I’m not

saying that they don’t work all day, but we’re just asking for equality. Why aren’t many women allowed to work too? Women can actually help the men take care of the family, but the idea of a woman doing all the housework was created a long time ago in history, and although most of the world has changed, there are still many countries that apply it to their people. This, I must say, is a pity, because women don’t need men to depend on. As the old saying goes: Behind each great man is a great woman. The truth is, each woman is great in her own way, and no matter what others might think, this is the real truth that some people try to ignore.


Time for Women to Be Given Equal Rights

Looking for Love By: Bandar Sharkia, Arab Israeli If you could take just one look around, you might ask yourself the big question, “Where is the love that should be between people?” Well, this question is a very hard one to answer, because almost everyone has his own point of view, and most of the people don’t agree why love is rarely found between people nowadays. I think that one of the most likely reasons for the lack of love is that now, more than ever, everybody in the world is just focusing on their own interests, without much thought of other people or their concerns. So, while on the one hand, we have become lovers of ourselves, on the other hand, we have become people that others hate. In my opinion, the growing racism in the world and the fact that people are still judging others by colour, religion, sex, and are also accepting stereotypes about others without getting to know them as well as they ought might very well ex-

plain why there is so much hatred and why love is not as it used to be. However, we should not lose hope. Let us all look at where the light is coming from; it is coming from the east of our hearts and it would naturally illuminate the whole world with its warm and beautiful rays, were it not for that huge wall that we keep building with bricks of prejudice, selfishness and hatred. Together we can bring this wall down, and then, love will be set free. It will fill the world with beautiful songs of joy and happiness. We will learn the precious meaning of life and we will learn to treat it respectfully. Only then will we be worthy of belonging to mankind.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004



Jewish-Bedouin Theatre By: Shiran Zehavi & Naama Nabet, Israel

She claimed that the whole idea of forming a youth group is because it is almost impossible to change the Auditions were held about two months ago in differopinions of adults. Teenagers create first time connecent schools in the Negev to form a group of Theatre tions with the Bedouin teens and see few differences Teens. Out of the hundreds who auditioned, a group between themselves. She believes that youth are the of 20 participants was formed, including ourselves. future, and thus it is very important to encourage them In any theatre group it is important to trust one anto talk, share and understand the Bedouin. One day other. In order to build something together it is importhese youth will be in charge of policy, and will be tant to get to know each other and feel free to express able to change the current conditions. emotions and ideas with the group. Excellent theatre Theatre has the tools to make a real communicative groups are hard to form, even in the right conditions. gathering. The meetings are theatrical ones because Imagine how hard it is when trying to combine Jewish you cannot make meetings without a content that creand Bedouin youth. ates a bond. The purpose is not The first joint meeting was filled The Bedouin don’t have to to make frictions but to work on with tension as it was hard for mutual sharing. This is why the lose their culture in order to goal is to develop joint bi-linboth groups to connect with each other and open up. The be equal with the Jewish peo- gual play, and to perform it in Bedouin teenagers did not unof different schools ple in the country. They front derstand Hebrew fluently and throughout the country. should be able to maintain Shmulik Ifrach, the Jewish group so it was difficult to break the language barrier. says, “I never did a their traditions and still be instructor Luckily, in order to break the Jewish-Bedouin project before. able to get equal rights. ice, we played a game called When I was offered it, I agreed gibberish. Gibberish is a lanimmediately.” Shmulik claims guage that doesn’t exist and is made up randomly. The that dramatically the connection supplies a lot of thepurpose of the game was to show that facial expresatrical material, such as interesting situations, conflicts sions, body language and intuition are sufficient to etc. “No conflict, no drama,” he reflects. communicate: A person from the Bedouin group tried While working with us he feels that the culture gap is to ask a person from the Jewish group for directions to being reduced and that the actors are becoming very the airport while the Jewish person asked for direcalike. The gap is exposed since there are no Bedouin tions to the market, both in gibberish, so that neither girls in the group, because their religion prohibits it. On knew what the other was trying to ask. Through differthe other hand, a majority of the Jewish group are girls. The Jewish group all seem to agree that it is a very ent routines we learned to open up and communicate by using theatrical language. interesting experience. “It’s a combination that you Shiluv Centre, who lead the project, is a centre that don’t expect to see or to get any good results from,” works for an equal Jewish society. The Centre is worksays Maya, a Jewish participant from Beer Sheva. “At ing in association with Ajyal Centre in Rahat, a centre first we had a real lack of communication and I didn’t that deals with non-formal education. think that we would be able to connect so well in the Ilena Shilat, Manager of the Shiluv Centre, tells us that end.” what brought them into doing coexistence projects was The Bedouin participants say that they are coming the desire to create equal rights. She rejects the fact mostly out of love for the theatre and wanting to mix that a part of the Bedouin people still live without water with Jewish teens. They claim that there is a lot of and electricity, that this is not right! She reflected that, stigma about the Bedouin society, and that it is very “The Bedouin don’t have to lose their culture in order important for them to break it. Fadi, a Bedouin parto be equal with the Jewish people in the country. They ticipant from Rahat, says, “I still believe that in spite should be able to maintain their traditions and still be of all the gaps and different opinions we can create able to get equal rights.” something together.”


Crossing Borders May/June 2004

controversial new movie By: Suhair Jarroush, Arab Israeli I recently watched a film by Mel Gibson, one of Hollywood’s most famous actors and directors. I’m talking about his controversial new movie “The Passion of the Christ.” You’ve probably heard about it, since it became a global success. The origin of the word passion is Latin, it means “suffering and pain.” Today Christians use this word as an expression to Christ’s love for mankind, which made him willing to suffer and die for our sins. This movie captures the last twelve hours of Christ’s life on earth; you can see Jesus receiving the death penalty by the Ro-

man governor, who gave all the credit for this act to the Jewish high priest and the Jewish people, and denied any responsibility on his part even though he was the one making the final decision. In a recent interview, Gibson disagreed with the conclusion that the Jews were mainly responsible for Christ’s death, “History does not accuse the Jews. Some who are misinformed may, but the Christian does not accuse the Jews of killing our Lord Jesus Christ.” He added that the Romans didn’t kill him either, “We all killed him by our sin, because the Bible says, as is said in the beginning of the movie, that ‘He is wounded by our transgressions and that the Lord laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.’ Therefore, we all nailed Jesus to the cross.” Gibson had done a great job in directing

this movie and as he said in one of his interviews: “Making this film has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, and watching it is not easy to do. It’s difficult, because Christ’s Passion was difficult.” Indeed it is really hard to watch this movie, which is two hours long, especially since more than an hour “incarnates” the torture and death of Jesus. But under all the special effects there is an objective representation of the passion of the Christ. This movie opened my eyes to lots of things that I didn’t pay much attention to before. Now I can see the truth in clearer than ever. I believe that watching this movie will inform you with the true story of the death of Jesus Christ, and I assure you that you’ll have a great time watching it!


The Passion of the Christ Mel Gibson’s

Longing for Burial The Plays of Hanoch Levin Naama Nabet, Israel In 1999, the play “Burial” written and directed by Hanoch Levin was performed and earned much praise. The play is a tale about death. Somewhere in a distant village in a big country, live two old persons, husband and wife. They become ill and die, regretting everything in their lives. A young mother with her baby boy dying in her arms, walks in the fields seeking a cure. Her baby dies. Carter, bereaved of his son, drives around with no one to whom he can pour out his heart. Drunks and whores chase after happiness. At the end, cherubs pass by collecting the dead souls. Hanoch Levin died from a difficult dis-

ease five months after “Burial” was first performed. A few months after his death I watched the play. I was amazed that Levin predicted his approaching death and by the way his play expressed it. In his plays, Levin deals with death more than anyone else in Israeli theatre. His plays examine with a sharp, critical eye the illnesses of mankind and of Israeli society. The fear of death, the longing for something better to give life meaning are essential in Levin’s characters. They are why his world is so cruel, so lacking in human love. In “Burial”, which is full of touching poetry, a character says, “When my eyes will become dark, draw my dead eyes to your open eyes. In your living eyes, my dead

eyes live a little bit more, as long as you will also live, as long as you’ll remember.” Levin was not afraid to show to anyone who denies it our real face. He criticized the attitude of the government and of society towards the minorities who live among us and towards the Arabs in particular. His words were direct, critical and point an accusing finger. In his play “The Lost Woman from Troy,” one of his characters says: “Aha! The people, the people, who you don’t ask, and in whose name you, the statesmen, are committing the most horrible crimes! Is there any despicable act that was not done under the cloak of the people’s will?” His words still challenge Israeli public opinion and our country’s leaders.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004



The Teenager’s GuideTo:

Setting Goals By: Yousef Shihadeh, Arab Israeli Perhaps one of the most essential tricks in life is learning to set goals for yourself. Goals can organize your aims and ambitions in a way that you cannot visualize. This technique is constantly used by all humans, whether they intend to or not; it is part of human nature. When setting a goal, people always think of an objective which they can perform and enjoy simultaneously. It is an intellectual tactic. Nonetheless, it isn’t always effective. We ought to remember that it is also part of human nature to be lazy. For instance, while expanding our knowledge in a specific field

is a common way in which we try to improve ourselves. Many people decide to increase their understanding, but do not always execute their aspirations. Setting goals for our way of life isn’t enough to systemize our lives, as we should also implement them as well. Regrettably, people only accomplish the first stage of Setting-Goal process: selecting their target. The moment when they are expected to translate their words into actions, they overlook it, preferring to live in denial rather than sweat to accomplish their goals and achieve their ambitions in life. Sometimes a person does work hard to achieve his goals but later neglects them

when he does not see quick progress or immediate improvement in fields such as sports, studies, etc. A person who wishes to develop in a particular domain expects to see direct results, which are usually unachievable. This forces them to abandon their aims and seek easier ones, consequently producing a regress in the person’s life. However, let us not forget that there are people who complete their goals despite all the obstacles that they face during their lifetime. This ambitious group is willing to sacrifice their schedule in exchange for success. Alas the number of such determined people is insignificant, thus delaying the community’s progress in many major fields, particularly manners and behaviour. Therefore, next time you set a goal for yourself, try to complete it. Oh, and be patient, for that is the price for success. Otherwise it will haunt you for the rest of your life, and even result in failures in other subjects.

Buy a New TV and Solve All Your Problems Hamilton’s Picture of the Material Needs of Modern Culture By: Shiran Zehavi, Israel In 1956 Richard Hamilton created a collage of photographs glued onto paper. In it he presents the culture of needs of the 1950s, of the things we need to make a modern home more convenient, attractive and cosy. Hamilton takes the image


of the modern home which gives its tenants a life of paradise, and presents ironically the myth of the media which convinces us that focusing on the needs of everyday life will solve all of our problems, even the problems between people. Hamilton cuts up popular pictures of celebrities of the era, to create a mix of celebrity in which he combines them all. He creates an indoor living room that is typical of modern houses, full of mass furniture, and with a couple and a housemaid. The artist cuts out certain things which he presents as symbols of modern needs. These products include electrical appliances, like a vacuum cleaner, an audio recorder, a television and other appliances which mark the culture of the rich (of the 1950s). He in-

cludes food products, like bin cans and lollipops, showing surplus and waste. He includes culture products, like books, cinema (above the giant window in the apartment is the local cinema). And he includes advertising and commercial products, like comic strips, TV and the cinema. On some of the products the artist includes addresses (as shown in the comic) and so transforms the object into a sort of commercial. In front of the cinema there’s a giant poster advertising the movie being shown. All of these products are shown to the crowd, as through them the public is supposed to achieve the rich life. The piece emphasizes the material side of society and not the human side. Although there’s a man and a woman in the house, there is no connection between them. They are advertising ideals and they convey the impression that they have it all. They are an ideal couple who we are inspired to become like. The athletic man is muscular and groomed. The woman is provocative and represented as a “magazine girl”, with sexual awareness and selfconfidence. When Hamilton assembles the picture of the society of needs, he creates a sort of mirror in which he shows us our reality.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004

By: Mais Yahia, Palestine

economic goals, and benefit those who are interested in offering wrong information. This media of tricks does not care about the honesty of its profession, but rather cares only about achieving its goals. For this reason, media wars happen between different news stations, as each one tries to

With the development of the freedom of the press, the media has started to play an important role in how people interpret events happening around them. Though it is supposed to be a reflection of political and social events, the media is increasingly becoming a factor that changes them. With each passing year, the role of media is growing, especially in the midst of all the changes that we are living through today. In Some news channels in the the era of globalization, world are used for political or the media has become economic goals, and benefit the main way of communication between those who are interested in ofpeople living in different fering wrong information. places in the world. It makes it easier for us to prove its honesty to the viewknow about other people’s opinions and ers and readers. They all use thoughts about what is going on in their media techniques to show region. how advanced and efficient However, the media is not always a true they are in bringing the news, reflection of reality. We cannot guaranwhile the simple viewer does tee that we read or watch the right infornot know what manipulations mation. For example, some news chanare going on behind the scenes. nels in the world are used for political or

Viewers can often be tricked by what they see, because the media often provides the only way to know about their surroundings. They believe and accept the dramatic images in front of their eyes. It is a shame to know that it is not important anymore how accurate the information is. Rather the only thing some kinds of media care about now is the speed with which they can bring information into people’s houses and minds. Television, internet sites, and newspapers are sometimes the first things we look at when we get up in the morning. Though most of what is mentioned in the media seems to be believable, I think that it is really dangerous to believe every single piece of information we read. Not everybody is honest and not everything is perfect.


Do You Believe What You Read in the Media?

The Role of the Journalist Does a journalist have to write an article that would serve the truth and nothing but the truth, or what the reader wants to read? By: Lior Mashiach, Israel There are many open questions when talking about journalism, and for any question answers must be given individually. The first question is about how do people see the journalist, and how does he see himself as a journalist? Does he see himself as a patriot, or as someone who is just doing his job? A journalist has to remember that he writes for a reader, and that he needs to know the society he is writing for? For example, will an Israeli reader react to the same article in the same way that an Arab reader will? Aside from these questions, the difficulty lies in how far should the journalist go to

get an exclusive article. There are always choices to be made in writing an article, without crossing any border! The problem in writing many kinds of articles lies in the fact that nobody cares to read them! Questions over the role of the journalist and what he is supposed to deliver to the reader are very common. Does a journalist have to write an article that would serve the truth and nothing but the truth, or what the reader wants to read? If the newspaper was filled with great articles, is this exactly what the reader would want to read? We will get to a stage where nothing we read will be true, and will be contrary to what is really happening. Though this doesn’t mean

that articles should be boring. Should an article be objective or subjective? Should censorship come into the picture? Censorship is a controversial subject. What makes the journalist the person who can decide what should be censored and what should not. A journalist is a person like anybody else. He can write a report and be sure he is being politically correct while a certain reader thinks the report is unacceptable. Some of these questions can be answered and some cannot. A journalist can decide to take his work to a patriotic level and he can decide not to. But each and every journalist should see where he’s standing on these topics before starting to write.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004



Would You Like To Spend Your Holiday in Gaza? By: Nasser Barakat, Palestine Summer is supposed to be a joyful time for everyone, even for Palestinians. During school time, Palestinian students are waiting for the holiday to start, hoping that it will be better than in previous years. When it comes we often find that our hopes are distant dreams. Students in other countries enjoy their summer vacation by participating in camps that enable them to discover different places and learn new skills. In the Gaza Strip, there are no such camps. This is for many reasons: First, there are no places to hold them, where we can relax and forget where we are living. The only options are either destroyed, like the Oasis resort, or are located in remote places near to Jewish settlements. Second, there are no open spaces in the Gaza Strip because it is crowded with people. The spaces remaining are near to Israeli settlements, and no one can get near to one of these settlements without being shot at.

The Ministry of Education has created a solution. It was to go back to school for a summer camp. So we suffer again from the same monotonous instructional classes and the lack of equipment. We don’t feel any difference between school and the summer camp. Another reason for many students disliking the summer holiday is because of the responsibilities they are given during it. As soon as school ends, many families send their children to work in order to provide for the family. Such families don’t mean to prevent their children enjoying

themselves, but they have no other choice because of their economic situation. Most people of the world are able to travel other places and enjoy a summer vacation. Yet in Gaza people are locked in. Getting out of Gaza depends on the mood of the Israeli government. Also, if someone does have some money, they usually prefer to use it to eat, or save it for future crises rather than wasting it on tourism. Within Gaza the only place to go for fun is the beach. It gets very crowded with people coming from every part of the Strip. Yet they spend a short time there so as not to be caught by a sudden, new incursion. So do you fancy a holiday in Gaza?

Beer Sheva: City of the Patriarchs An Ancient Past and Lively Present By: Rotem Bass, Israel


Beer Sheva, located in the south of Israel, has about 180,000 people living in it. Until 1990 most of the residents came from North African backgrounds, but since then, they’ve been residents emigrating from the countries of the former Soviet Union. Beer Sheva is not like other Israeli cities. It’s not located on the coast, and it doesn’t have tall buildings, which can leave you thinking that it is a city in the middle of nowhere. But Ben-Gurion University is located in Beer Sheva; it is a large university with

Crossing Borders May/June 2004

technological studies and a medical school. Also the Soroka Medical Center is located nearby, and it has one of the highest birth rates in the world. Beer Sheva is called the City of the Patriarchs, after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Beer Sheva got its name from Abraham after he made an agreement with the Philistine leader (Avimelech) for them to live in peace together. Later Isaac confirmed the name of the place as Beer Sheva. The Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, lived in Beer Sheva. Hagar and Ishmael (Abrahamís other wife and child) were blessed in Beer Sheva. Also the great

prophet Elijah ran away from the terrible Queen Jezebel to Beer Sheva where he found some rest under the rotem (a white broom tree). On the 31 of October 1917, during World War 1, the Australian and the New Zealand Light Horse Brigade captured the city from the Ottomans, and opened the way for Jerusalem to be freed. This victory in Beer Sheva was the last great cavalry charge in war, and the first time that soldiers on horses actually captured a city. Today Beer Sheva is the capital of the Negev. So come down and enjoy for yourselves the ancient city of the Patriarchs.

By: Zena Zananiri, Jordan My first encounter with Israelis was in an EU-sponsored democracy education seminar for youth in Jordan, Israel and Palestine. It was also the first time I traveled alone without my parents. I didn’t know anyone, since my friends were not with me, and I felt a bit strange. But then everything changed. I thought I was going to stay alone, but the people I met were gorgeous and they made me feel that I was not strange. It was the first time I sat and talked with people living in different countries about serious political problems. What we talked about was democracy. Though we talked about the different types of democracy and about the different ways of expressing opinions, still democracy had the same meaning for all of

us. It still meant that taking the people’s opinion into account should be the most important consideration when taking decisions. We all had different opinions, thoughts and principles but we didn’t forget that we were all working as a team, and so we should share thoughts and ideas no matter how different we are. My trip to Cyprus may not be repeated but I do realize that this trip changed me a lot. It made me know that there are many more things to do rather than go-

ing to cafes and gossiping about people for hours. This trip made me realize that there are many more things we should care about, such as problems in the Middle East and especially Palestine. These problems meant nothing to me before, but now at least I am able to stay for 10 minutes watching the news and I can spend 5 minutes reading the headlines of the newspaper. For me this is a great change and a huge success.


Meeting Myself in Cyprus

On Line and On the Line What Fantasy Games Can Teach Us By: Asaad Malshy, Arab Israeli On-Line Computer gaming with players all over the globe is quite a trend these days. But how is it connected to Crossing Borders? I have been playing an online computer game called Neverwinter Nights for about 6 months now. All the gaming experiences are based on the fact that you get to live another life in a world of adventure and fantasy. There you play with a group of other people from across the entire world; with people between the ages of 8-99 all with their own characters. In the game, you meet and talk to these people, and eventually you could find out that you are talk-

ing to a friend next door, or to some guy in China. And sometimes, you get to know a 40-year-old guy, who is married with 5 children and living happily in the US, until one day he tells you that he is not going to be online for a couple of months, because he has been ordered to go and fight in Iraq. A guy who I have befriended and talked with is now going to fight people with whom I really sympathize. What would you do in this situation? Well, the answer is that in the world of online computer games you leave your problems and personal issues at the door (or keyboard), and go in to enjoy yourself, regardless of the man in front of you. You treat the person you are playing with as you would treat him if you met his

online virtual character because that’s the purpose of it: meeting new people and getting to know other cultures. And now I know that an American soldier, when he goes, leaves behind family and friends to whom he might not return. What caused this situation? Well, the answer is the war itself, the unnecessary battle over power and control that leads to the death and separation of families for months and even forever. Think about losing a love one, and then think about why we fight? Often there is no justified reason. I learned to get to know people and to understand them. Let us all do the same to understand each other, and build a world where the fantasy and happy lives also exist in the real world.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004



Divisions In Israel By: Rotem Bass, Israel Israel is full of cracks and divisions, big and small, in the society. There are at least four: first of all there is the split between the religious Jews and the secular. We could call this the religious division. The second split is the

community division, where you can find many Israelis whose origins are European, Russian or American contrasted with Israelis whose origins are from North Africa, South America, and even from countries like India and Iraq. Each group of origin has a different culture from the others, different language, political histories and customs. Another divide is the ideo-

Deeds, Not Words

Too Much Talk Holds the Arab World Back

By: Assem Mohammed Abu Mallouh, Jordan


We say and hear time and time again,”I Want, We Want”. The meaning of these sweet words and generous promises come to nothing unless they are translated to action. In other words, doing is better than saying. This is the habit and the main disadvantage of almost all Arabs, such that they are still standing on the bottom step of the stairs of civilization which other nations control and lead. These nations choose deeds not words. Our real life is full of examples; such as the project of establishing a Common Arab Market. This idea was dis-

Crossing Borders May/June 2004

cussed in many meetings and conferences but never saw reality and stayed in the sphere of words and on paper. If this idea had been translated into action, Arabs would be occupying an important position along with other controlling nations. We are still digging in our place while others such as European countries have discussed and established the European Union, which has become a powerful economic union, to enable them to be the replacement for the collapsing empire of the United States of America. A writer once said said, “A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds.”

logical-political division: there is a contrast between the right- and left-wing on security and foreign issues. And on top of it all is the national division in Israeli society, between a Jewish majority and an Arab minority. These different divisions highlight the tension and dissension in Israeli society, which harms the social unity of the country. However, there is a connection that still joins the people together: the idea of a society where there is righteousness, peace and joy. The Israeli government attempts to overcome these divisions in different ways, by encouraging the principle of pluralism, freedom of expression and so on. It tries to be stronger, and wants to be stronger - stronger as a society and stronger than the other side. But is Israel really stronger? While the divisions are continuing to cause damage, breaking the unity, and provoking major conflicts within society itself, it seems that few are looking at and trying to fix and heal these divisions from a perspective greater and above us all. While all of us are in our little space, seeing things from our own perspective, we are not getting any closer together. What or who can really bring us back together? How will we really overcome these big differences and cracks which are just getting bigger and bigger, bringing with them more divisions that might eventually break up the whole?


uths Travel to S peak in Italy

By: Sapir Atias, Israel

projects of working together. One speaker was from another magazine, called “Windows,” and another was from “Neve Shalom - Wahat El Salam”, a village where Palestinians and Jews are learning how to live together. And among all these “grown ups”, there we were, Jihan Abdallah and Sapir Atias,

two youth who actually work together for the common good. And the people of Bari listened. Listened to our stories, our experience, and most of all, to the friendship we conveyed. This magazine showed its influence to the world. Now, Crossing Borders has gone global.

New Israeli Coordinator

Artists Competition

Summer Seminars

Dana Admoni has joined CB as the new Coordinator for the Israeli Sector, and is Editor-in-Chief for CB21. Dana is from Tel Aviv as also works as a spokesperson for a Knesset member. She will share with us her extensive media experience.

For all youth artists, CB is organizing a competition of drawings, illustrations and photo collages on the topic: “What the conflict means to me.” Future CB editions will feature a gallery of entries, as will the CB website. Competition closing date is 15 September 2004. Contact your sector’s coordinator for more details.

CB has organized 2 seminars this summer, one for CB veterans in July in Berlin, and one for CB newcomers at the International People’s College, Denmark in August. CB22 will be produced during these seminars.

Between the 1st - 6th May, two representatives of the Crossing Borders magazine went to speak in front of Italian students in Bari University, Italy. Together with Garba Diallo, CB Director, these two, a Palestinian and a Jewish girl, showed the world the meaningful power that youth have. Bari University is one of the oldest universities in Italy. It teaches over 6,500 students every year. One of their goals is to get involved in the situation worldwide and to deal with peace. This was the cause for this convention, which was called, “Dialogues in the Holy Land: politics, civil society and the peace process.” During the conference, many important professors, who study different subjects, gave their speeches to all those interested. The professors were both Israelis and Palestinians, and were chosen because they keep the dialogue alive. Some talked about their projects which deal with the trauma of people who were victims of terror. A lot of professors from Bari University talked about their own work. The most interesting lecture was one that talked about “The role of physicians in the Peace Process in the Holy Land.” The rest of the speakers represented

CB News


C B G o es Globa CB Yo

Reunions CB held two reunion meetings recently in Jerusalem for youths and teachers who participated in the recent seminars in Antalya, Turkey. The reunions gave a chance for participants to talk through their experiences since return, and how CB has affected them at school and outside.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004



CB Lesson Plans & Teachers’ Feedback CB21 launches a new regular feature in the CB magazine primarily aimed at teachers across the region using CB in their classrooms. The section will include: ideas for lesson plans using CB articles and feedback from teachers in different sectors’ schools on their experience of using CB in their own classroom.

Lesson Plan: The Land Was Mine Long Before I Was the Land’s Prepared by: Nava Berger, Ort Sajor School, Israel This lesson plan touches upon familiarizing the class with the contents of the issue and making use of skimming and scanning strategies.

Quotation Hunt 1.Prepare a worksheet with 4 columns: a column of about 10 quotations from various CB articles, an empty column for the names of the articles from which the quotations were taken, an empty column for predictions and another empty column for a “WH” question . The quotations should be anaphoric in nature, meaning that they should refer to an idea previously presented in the article. For example, from The Land Was Mine Long before I Was The Land’s Part ii, ”I personally refuse to be treated in that manner; and am furious to witness it.” 2.In pairs, ask the pupils to ask a question about the quotation and to predict what the writer might be referring to. For example, “How does the writer refuse to be treated?”

Teacher’s Feedback (I) Rana Zaher, Salvatorian Sisters’ School, Nazareth


The moment CB entered our English class, its coloured pages and attractive layout have caught the attention of my students. Flipping through its pages, they were introduced to fellow students from different parts of the region and exposed to opinions that necessarily differed from theirs. To set the ground for active participation in the magazine, taking a preliminary step was necessary since my students weren’t accustomed to writing on social and political topics. I had first to familiarize my students with the wide range of legitimate opinions as well as with the conventions of article writing that CB relies on. For this purpose, I asked the students to read the articles and present the one with which they agree or disagree the most and to justify their choice. Secondly the students were asked to write an article commenting on one of the issues raised in the magazine. Gradually, my students grew to be more and more independent in their writing and more inquisitive and curious about other students’ comments and opinions. Today, CB is a welcomed guest in my classes.

3.The pairs will then search the magazine for the title of the article from which the quotation was extracted and write the title in the empty column next to the appropriate quotation. 4.This exercise can be timed to see who finds the source of the quotations first. 5.Discuss the results.

Topic Chart 1.Ask the pupils to skim through the magazine to find which topics this issue deals with (for example, women in society, teenage life, movies/culture, politics, etc.). 2.Ask the pupils which topics in the current issue interest them most and how many articles deal with the topic. 3.The pupils fill in a topic chart mapping the topic with the articles’ page numbers and tick their level of interest in that topic. The columns for levels of interest can be: highly interested/mildly interested/not interested.

Pedagogically, CB illustrates the conventions of different writing genres, it enriches the students’ lexicon with many new vocabulary items and gives ample chances for literary and artistic creativity. Educationally, through different CB activities, students’ spirit of leadership is nurtured. The pride my students feel when they see their articles and pictures published is contributive to their self-confidence, not to forget the social skills they acquire while discussing different matters with the “other” through the pages of the magazine or personally in their meetings. Doubtless, my students’ involvement with CB is an eye-opening experience for them. Having worked with CB for four months now, I can already report an increasing enthusiasm among my students in the Salvatorian Sisters’ School. Not only is CB a platform for our students’ unvoiced thoughts and dilemmas, but it also offers opportunities for personal encounters with the “other”, trips to places some students wouldn’t possibly be able to reach on their own, and channels of youthful and optimistic dialogue.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004 CB teachers reunion, June 2004

Prepared by: Aman Qundos, Arab Orthodox College, Haifa Some people see things that are and ask, “Why?” Others dream of things that never were and ask, “Why not?” One article can be used for implementing one or more of the four domains. For the following activities, I would use two consecutive lessons in a proficiency-level, stage-one class.


EXTRACTING INFORMATION Pupils should be able to “extract relevant information for a specific purpose”, the specific purpose being their comprehension of the article, the tool to do so a graphical organization of the text. If the article “Dreams of Night & Dreams of Day”(CB 19) was chosen to be taught, then the students might be asked to suggest a graphic organizer for the article. The one I see best suits this article is a Venn-Diagram to show a comparison.

DREAMS night

(b) Copy the words that helped you with your answer. 2. Complete the following sentence to sum up the main point of the article. If ........................., peace ........................ This question provides a good opportunity to present the “IF” Clause.


The last sentence in P1 is an example of the ZERO conditional. The structure can be presented, explained and practised, or just reviewed. To show the difference in meaning between the 1st & 2nd conditionals, we might use the last sentence in the article and paraphrase it in two ways: 1. If more people make peace their dream, they can turn it into a reality (referring to the future result) 2. If more people made peace their dream, they could turn it into a reality. (referring to what is not happening right now / or what has little chance of happening in the future, which can clearly express an attitude)


In the common area the following points would be compared: When (One circle for Night and another for Day) Purpose (Thought to solve our problems; Our ideals/Give us direction in life) Example(s) (P1 still being researched; P3 one or more of the examples given) What’s unfortunate about them (P1 not much remembered; P4 People may not agree with us, people die for their ideals) The students could work in groups to fill in the missing details. It would be a good idea to have the completed diagram on a transparency. The students’ answers would then be compared with the ones on the transparency as they are revealed, one by one, on the board.

PARAGRAPH V Because the main point of this article is that PEACE can become more than a dream, I would check the students’ understanding of this point. For example: 1. (a) Circle the correct answer: The writer is optimistic / pessimistic about the possibility of ever achieving peace in the Middle East.

I would ask the students questions that would lead them to the following phrases. For example, “Make a list with all the words that have been used with ‘dream’.” Another would be “Find a phrase which expresses that the future will not improve

in a short time.” E.g. to reach / realize / achieve a dream; to change things through non-violent means; to make peace (in the region); to pay a price; roses are not going to bloom soon; in their waking life / while they’re awake - asleep; supposedly Students are asked to choose three phrases that they like / don’t like and explain their choices. After that they would use them in sentences of their own.

PREFIXES & SUFFIXES The students (in groups) would compete to find examples of certain prefixes and suffixes (un-, -ist etc.) in the text in 30 seconds. 5 examples are already here: UNfortunate, theorISTs, invenTION, peaceFUL, famOUS These would then be grouped according to their functions, followed by the students’ own examples.


Lesson Plan: Dreams of Night & Dreams of Day

WRITTEN HOMEWORK a. Students are asked to write about one of their dreams and how they are going to achieve it. b. Write a speech entitled “I have a dream.” c. To implement the IF structure in writing, the following topic would be suitable: “What 3 things would you change in your school if you had the chance to become the principal?” Or any other “What would you do if ....?” question.

Teacher’s Feedback (II) John Bartholomew, Jerusalem School, East Jerusalem First I give the CB magazine to the students in grades 10, 11, and 12 to read at home. I ask them to highlight one article that interests them, and one that they would like to respond to if they had the chance. In the following class, each student reads out the article they chose and explains why the article interests them to the class. Students who select the same article are joined into one group to share ideas on how they would have written the article if they were submitting it to CB. Second, I get students who wanted to respond to an article to write a response to me giving comments as to whether they agreed or disagreed with they contents of the article. These students voice their comments to the class in order to have an open discussion.

I then ask the students to respond to a “complaining” article by writing a resolution that they believe would better the situation, and then present it to the class for approval. This project allowed the students to think not only about the problems mentioned in the article but to come up with solutions that may work for future generations.

29 CB teachers reunion, June 2004

Crossing Borders May/June 2004


Do you have an opinion about any of the CB articles? CB is not afraid to voice your opinion.

Write to the Editor at: Remember Your Audience

Beautiful Imaginings

As a journalist, one should always consider the audience who will eventually be reading the article. Too often I’ve come across articles in Crossing Borders that were not written for the right audience. As an Israeli, I found many articles in CB20 very disturbing. Crossing Borders may have many goals, but I’m sure that creating more hatred is not one of them. Many of the harsher words come from pain and suffering, maybe from feelings of revenge and maybe because of the writer’s education or beliefs. Yet the magazine is not our psychologist. We don’t have to spill our guts on the paper because we had some sudden inspiration for it. As journalists, we in Crossing Borders must remember we are writing both for Israelis and for Arabs, and not for a neutral audience. We are not trying to score points for our side in the conflict with an audience who does not know what to believe. Even if you believe what you write with all your might, you should know what kind of effect it will have on your readers, and should decide what to write accordingly. So the next time you write an article, please remember who you are writing for. We are trying to make peace, and not to increase hatred and stigma. Sivan Trajtenberg, Tel Aviv

I was reading some stories in the Crossing Borders magazine from both sides with great sadness. Truly they do reflect daily life, the pain, the anger, the suffering. But my question is this: do we want to keep reading notes from each other that just multiply what people are already experiencing? I think this is a unique opportunity. To belong to this organization that is so very different from what most other people have, united by our passion and our love for peace. Life is already a struggle and peace is an enormous task. What if every time we read the magazine we could look forward to something that would encourage us, or that would give us hope? What if this was one place we could count on that when life was overwhelming us, where someone would strengthen our resolve that this belief in peace is worth it. I read recently that: “it takes some practice to notice where the mind is wandering to... or what sort of conversations we are taking part in... Do they drive us towards or away from our most beautiful imaginings?” Gandhi once said: “You must become the change you wish to see in the world.” May all that we do and say to each other drive us towards our most beautiful imaginings! Rana Haddad, Haifa

1948: Beginning of Which Story?

Real purposes of the checkpoints

I am writing in response to your article, “1948: the Beginning of Which Story?” I could relate to this article because I am an Arab Israeli who believes that the year 1948 has been the main influence on Arab Israeli life. In 1948, it was like they set us a complex exam question which has no solution, and which will stay without a solution forever. Even now, we Arab Israelis don’t know how to define ourselves. If we say that we are Palestinian, we do not feel it strongly enough because we do not share the tragedy that Palestinians in the Territories endure. But if we say that we are Israeli, then that doesn’t fit for us either, because we are not Jewish. So 1948 is the beginning of our story, because our identity is relative to the meaning of this number.

I was amazed and shocked to read that the majority of soldiers behave respectfully according to the article “1 Barrier, 2 Experiences” (CB 20). On the contrary, the Israeli soldiers are well known for their humiliation policy at the checkpoints, keeping people standing for long periods in rain and sunshine. If you claim that the checkpoints maintain security, why do soldiers use such offensive and insulting language? For example, on several occasions when I have attempted to cross a checkpoint some soldiers have used very offensive language and behaved violently to humiliate me as human being who is seeking a normal life. I cross at least two checkpoints daily, see and hear things that cannot be imagined.

Sahar Samara, Tira

Ala’ Maaytah, East Jerusalem

Magazine Is for Sharing Not Attacking

Raising Awareness

As an Israeli living in Haifa, I feel like this magazine belongs only to Arabs and is not a joint magazine. Most of your voices are of Arabs, who write articles accusing the Jews. It is very easy to do this in this kind of magazine, where there are a few Israelis writing together with a lot of Arabs. So then their voice is very low, if it can be heard at all. I was talking to some of my classmates and we share the same feeling. We have been reading your magazine for the last year, and we find it important to our future. But can’t you think more about the balance between the writers? Can’t you think about attacking less and sharing and listening more? Otherwise, what is the aim of your magazine? Lior Abadi, Haifa

One day while I was reading a fashion magazine my friend said something that got me thinking deeply. She said, “Dana, remember who you are and where you belong. Millions of people are dying, and lots of them don’t have money for a home, and yet you spend your money on silly magazines.” I asked her if she could bring me something about our situation and life, and she brought me this magazine. It was like I was living in darkness and Crossing Borders lightened my way. Since reading it that first time I could not stop thinking about its articles. So I would like to thank you all for your efforts in issuing this great magazine. Our country really needs something like it.

Crossing Borders May/June 2004

Dana Hawwash, East Jerusalem

The Soldier

As I was reading CB19, I passed by one of my favorite Caravaggio paintings, “Isaac’s Binding” and I thought how nice that someone incorporated such beautiful art into such an ugly conflict. However, I am curious. The author of this piece doesn’t tell us who she thinks the ram is in the conflict. She doesn’t tell us who Isaac is, or who Abraham is. I was disappointed to see this, as I think the masterpiece is an excellent metaphor to use to depict the binding life that we are living. I wish the writer had presented to us an analysis of her feelings, more than an analysis of art history. As a Palestinian, for me Isaac would be the Palestinian, Abraham the Jew, the angel would be the media, and the ram would be the whole Arab world. What is it to you?

I read about the image that comes to your mind when you hear the word “soldier” (CB20). I understand where those thoughts come from and maybe if I were in your place I would think like you. But I’m not in your place and I guess I will never be. So I want to show you the image that comes to my mind when I hear the word “soldier”. A soldier to me is always an Israeli soldier and he is always someone from my family or one of my friends. I’m talking about amazing people who if you asked what their greatest wish is, would say, “To end this war, to end the killing.” They definitely don’t want to kill or to be killed or to see their best friends getting killed. They do searches in Palestinian houses only because of fear that there might be bombs and guns or someone on his way to hurt some of our families and friends. There are always at least two opinions about every subject. But if we want to live here together we’ve got to forget what happened and find a solution that will suit both sides, both me and you.

Lena Mansour, Tira

You Have To Be Proud I’d like to say a few words to Sivan Trajtenberg who wrote (CB20) that she’s afraid of wearing necklace or earring carrying the Star of David. I think that the fact that you wrote about your fears shows that you have a strong personality. I reckon such a person is much stronger that other’s reactions. Still you have to be strong enough in order to carry the Star of David proudly. You should just be yourself and show them that they have totally wrong ideas about Jews. I sympathize with your situation because our situation as Arabs is very similar to yours, especially after the tragedy of September 11th. Many people see Arabs as terrorists and refuse to judge every person according to his own behaviour or beliefs. I live the same dilemma every time somebody asks me about my identity abroad. I am Arab girl and I’m proud of it the same as you have to be proud of being a Jewish girl, abroad as well as at home.

Luna Jammal, Haifa

The Only Shelter While reading the article of Sivan Trajtenberg “The Only Shelter” (CB20), I was convinced that the poor Jews throughout the world do not have any other homeland that can protect them from anti-Semitism and from the narrow-minded people who hate a person due his nationality or religion. I have to admit that Israel is the only shelter for Jews throughout the world. What the author forgets to mention though is how they uprooted thousands of people in order to have this homeland, and that in places like Rafah, this uprooting is still happening. She forgets how many villages were destroyed and many other inhuman acts. I think that also these people have the right to return to their homeland. Fortunately or otherwise, we the Arabs are also Semites. Similarly, I have to admit that often I am also afraid to wear a necklace, or anything else that could reveal my identity, such as the Holy Quran, or the map of Palestine; not out of shame, but rather out of fear. Maybe I can wear these wonderful symbols in Europe, USA, or in another place, but not in my “homeland.” Believe it or not, these things also happen in the state of Israel, which considers itself to be a democratic country. In this state, where we Arabs are a minority, we suffer from lack of democracy, from lack of freedom. I can’t hear music as I want, I am afraid to talk politics, I avoid hearing news, I am not allowed to do many things, I am afraid sometimes of talking in my mother tongue, just because I was born “Aravia Mozlimiet”.

Manar Siriyeh, Haifa

Sarit Itzak, Holon

Seminar Isolation


Isaac’s Binding

I think what made the recent CB seminar disappointing was that it was wrapped up in stereotypes. Every group was coming from such an angry place, as opposed to that innocent “I want to make a difference” place that we came from when we first started. The more I look back on the seminar I realize how isolated the Israelis were, and how isolated the Arabs were, and I think we completely missed the point. Even though I was offended by what some people said, and the many generalizations like all Israelis are right wing, I caught myself after the seminar guilty of the same crime. I imagined they weren’t listening, that they had facts wrong, that they were hostile to begin with. I think I made the mistake of seeing the ‘other side’ as objects to argue with instead of reason with. Despite a ‘good’ talk on the last day, I feel I lost some of my good intentions. I feel I became blinded with hostility and distance, and I feel I, and all of us, missed the meaning of this seminar.

Dana Eldad, Tel Aviv

Not For Point Scoring Crossing Borders is not about winning or losing, it’s about discussing. When these discussions are manipulated you tend to lose faith in them. These things make hope disappear. Trust is the basic foundation of having hope. I am sorry to say that mine was challenged in the recent CB seminar.

Nabil Shalabi, Amman

Cultural Tolerance Difference exists between all of us. We can do nothing to change it, but we can learn how to live with it. This magazine, teaches us how to hear each others voices. We should try to listen and see what is inside each one of us, even if some don’t like the idea. We all share the same feelings, so why shouldn’t we feel others’ pains. My request for all of those who read this magazine is that you try to put yourself in the other’s situation. Thus, we should have cultural tolerance instead of trying to kill the differences. AZ, Gaza

Crossing Borders May/June 2004


Have You Got Something To Say?

Say it in pictures with CB C a l l i n g a l l Yo u t h A r t i s t s : CB is organizing a competition of drawings, illustrations and photo collages on the topic

“What the conflict means to me� Closing date: 15 September 2004 Gallery of Entries in CB October Edition CB will publish your work in future editions Contact your local coordinator for more details or e-mail

Express Yourself

Crossing Borders issue 21  
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