Tag Archives: palestine

We Hope This Couple Gets To Reunite Soon

In Palestine, Basheer Mohammed Nasir wants to marry Amani Kamal Qassab. The couple has known each other for over two years, but they’ve been separated most of that time and it’s not your traditional long-distance thing. She’s in Gaza and he’s in the West Bank. They are divided by a broad swath of Israel, and deterred from reuniting by a deluge of unfinished permit paper work, most of which is out of their hands. In an NPR article, Basheer describes traveling to Gaza in 2006 for the Palestinian elections, where he met Amani and fell in love over a three month courtship. When Basheer returned to the West Bank, he built a home for Amani to come to. Instead, in 2007, the Palestinian political and religious group, Hamas, seized power from the more secular Palestinian group Fatah. Suddenly, permission for Amani to travel became virtually impossible to obtain. Amani says they’re on the phone together all day while they wait to be together, but she laments the “virtual marriage” which has suspended her in a limbo without the house, husband and children she’d planned for. The concepts of Hamas, Fatah and Palestinian geography have always been elusive to me, so this is an excellent but sad lesson to further my understanding. Keep reading »

Palestine Kids Show Teaches About Suicide Bombing

Usually, children’s television shows teach kids to treat others nicely—to share toys and be good sports. Generally, they don’t glorify suicide bombing and promote “violent resistance” against Israel. But alas, a horrifying episode of the Palestinian Hamas-run children’s show “Young Pioneers” basically encourages children to become young martyrs. In the episode, two young girls—the daughters of suicide bomber Reem Riyashi—sit with other kids in a colorful room as they are shown a reenactment of their mother’s suicide bombing, in which she killed herself and four Israelis. Hello? Kids should never be shown something so incredibly violent. Not to mention that, afterwards, an announcer called for them to follow “the doctrine of the martyr Reem Riyashi.”
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An Israeli, An Iranian And A Palestinian Are Sitting In A Boat…

The title is actually not the beginning of a joke. As unlikely as it may sound, this was gist of my most of my weekend. A little bit of background is necessary. Three years ago an Israeli is sitting in his room in Jerusalem getting ready to attend college in the US. He receives an email notifying him of the name and address of his freshman year roommate. To his surprise, the name and address are Iranian. What does he do: nothing. Despite the tensions in the region and possible conflicts, he decides not to complain to the college (whether this was out of cultural curiosity, tolerance, or extreme laziness remains a mystery). Simultaneously in another part of the world an Iranian receives his notification and pretty quickly surmises that his roommate is a Jew from Israel. He also decides to do nothing. Whether the college intentionally put two students from opposing countries together to foster international relations or some admissions director thought it would be a grand joke also remains a mystery. More likely than not it was just a screw up as both students later received an email inquiring as to their level of “comfortableness.” Both were comfortable and were now roommates. The unlikely combination of an Israeli and Iranian choosing to live together became more unlikely when the Iranian started dating a Palestinian. The unlikely group became an inseparable one. Keep reading »

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