Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Think I Learned Something Last Night...

Written by Michael:

It's been years since I've gone driving with my family looking at the Christmas lights. Never would I have believed that's how I'd spend an evening in Palestine. We joined three Muslim Palestinian friends riding in their car through the narrow streets of Beit Jala (a predominately Christian area), peering at the Christmas lights hanging above and lining the roads. Near in age and just as many of our own friends back home, they drive aimlessly around the city when bored, blasting music, laughing, and chatting in a language we barely understand. Upon returning, we were invited by a local to learn a new card game. Due to power outages in the camp, we watched as several Arab men played a Palestinian card game in a lantern-lit garage.

I've realized throughout my stay thus far, that no one here wants conflict. No one here wants to live in these conditions. And though two brothers whom we drove around with had grown up fatherless, having lost their father during the first Intifada- and though like most Palestinian youth, they have been in and out of Israeli prisons- and though they live in dilapidated houses- and though grafitti, political figures' and martyrs' pictures line their streets- and though a concrete barrier surrounds their city; in the end, they desire a life just like anyone else. They want to have a good time and hang out with their friends. They want to be with their family and eventually start their own. And to my suprise, they maintain rather normal lives in extraordinary circumstances.

1 comment:

  1. you know.. i never think of the christians that live there.. its either the muslims or the jews. i guess their struggles over shadow the collateral christians. whats xmas time in bethlaham or jeruselem like? and channaka? how are the christains seeing this issue (as if they have a collective hive mind opinion), what side of the fence do they fall on?