Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Another sign of hope?

'When she told her cousin that her 12-year-old Jewish schoolfriend had slept over at her house one night, Aeen, an Arab-Israeli schoolgirl, was shocked at the response.
“She said, ‘She didn’t try to kill you, she didn’t try to hurt you?’,” Aeen said. Such a negative response to their cross-cultural friendship is something that the 406 pupils of the Max Rayne School in Jerusalem have to cope with when outside their classrooms. The school, the only bilingual education centre in a deeply divided city, brings together Arab and Jewish children for an education that spans both cultures and languages.'

Article in The Times - October 22nd.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Israeli army orders confiscation of Palestinian land in West Bank

Despite seemingly moving ahead with new diplomatic negotiations planned for November, it looks like the Israeli government is trying to make inroads in the E1 area in the centre of the West Bank, prior to the meeting.

- A new road, for use by Palestinians, separated from the existing road (which will be for Israelis only) by the 'security barrier'.
- Settlements amounting to 3,500 homes.
- The plans for the road involve the use of 145 hectares of state land and 23 hectares of confiscated privately owned land.

More in today's Guardian.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Aida camp in Rainbow

It was suggested before I went to the Sabeel conference, that whilst I was there I look for appropriate stories and images to be used in the Methodist Church's magazine for children, called Rainbow.

We met lots of children during the conference, but so many of the contexts were complicated and would have been difficult to explain to readers under 11. In the end, my brief was 100 words and 1 image to fill a gap in September's issue - and I had an afternoon in which to write it!

I chose Aida camp as my theme, getting inspiration from a children's picture book I bought at the Lajee Centre. The story was of a boy who could no longer play in the fields opposite his home because of the wall that had been built in the way. All the illustrations were drawn by children at the centre. I focused on the fact that these were 3rd/4th generation refugees, who, thanks to the wall, had very little space to play and asked for peace so that their situation might improve.

I've just seen the finished article and it looks great! The guys in the childrens team have done really good job, even adding in some Palestinian stats and info. And my photo looks good too - it's one of my favourites from the whole trip.
You can view the pdf on the MethodistChildren website.