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hate and candy

She talked rapidly, in incendiary Arabic:

"I hate that school".

I was standing with her Dad Bassam, and Mom, after the meeting; Bassam either couldn't translate the rest of her wording or he feared offending his hosts [groundless].

Background: http://silverplate88.livejournal.com/21645.html

It was the only time her eyes ignited and her lips curled: the rest of the time Aralin was your shy twelve-year-old a very long way from home for the first time. She'd been at the school that morning with Abir, also taking an exam, and had screamed while Abir died in her arms from a "rubber" bullet, really rubber-jacketed steel, which had been fired from an armored car on patrol in front of a candy shop, and fractured her skull in multiple places.

Of course she hates that school. Who wouldn't, at that age, surviving that event, and having that PTSD?

I asked her Dad about why Aralin couldn't move to another school. He explained that it was the only one in the region and the next closest was in Jerusalem, impossible to get to, through multiple military checkpoints: he told me that Aralin would probably be arrested and thrown in jail, if they attempted to enroll her there.

The icon on this post shows Tzofia, Rachel, and Esther writing slogans onto Israeli artillery shells which are going to be fired at targets in Southern Lebanon during that conflict. The slogans are hardly love letters. That's not green sugar frosting on top of the ordnance.

The message of the meeting, coming through most clearly in the simple and shock-monotone language of Aralin [who spoke to us briefly, through a translator, and talked about what had happened that morning], was simply that entire generations have lost hope: IDF teens are shooting at suspected terrorist bombers out of defensive fear and despair, and running their American bulldozers over Rachel Corries; Palestinian teens are plotting to attack what they see as Israeli aggression against their dreams and indeed against their whole culture. They have been brought up that way and in that environment for their whole short lives.

Revenge is not the antidote to lost hope. Revenge is not going to solve anything, but instead create more fear, more hair-trigger mentality and suicide bombers, and more corpses, including maybe Aralin herself one day. It's not a long stretch to imagine that she would in time grow into a suicide bomber like Ayat al-Akhras ... whose motive had been only that a neighbor down the street had been killed by IDF fire, not a sister .....

When I held her hand in both of mine and thanked her for coming and sharing [again through a translator], she chirped out a 'thank you' in perfect English and her face momentarily brightened. In addition to being female and from a Middle Eastern culture, Arahin must have been happily overwhelmed at having her own 'reception line' ....people were actually lining up to thank her and her Mom and congratulating them! ... when the adult men were the stars of the afternoon --- her Dad and Yonatan, the former IDF / IAF pilot, who now has a non-military chopper job in America for a corporate employer.

I melted a little when she curled against Mom's coat and started playing with her buttons, perhaps out of social anxiety [Mom paid no overt attention.]

I don't really have an idea yet where my newly-renewed teaching license will soon take me....but perhaps I know where the next students will be living ...


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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