GAZA

Never lose sight of an important experience.

voices in our heads

Leaving isn’t difficult. It’s coming back that breaks you.

“So how was teaching terrorists all summer?” my aunt asked contentiously as we lay on the beach at the lake, August 2000. Like every summer since I was two, we were taking a week of family vacation to waterski and tan and fight over nothing. And like every summer, I was pretty sure I was going to punch a family member. But now for legitimate reasons.

I had just returned from the Gaza Strip where I had been teaching English to Palestinian Jr. High students. To this day, Gaza remains one of the most crowded, most impoverished, most hopeless places I’ve travelled. And I’ve been to a lot of shitty places. Beautiful, hospitable people, caged in like cattle. And that was fourteen years ago. Fourteen more years of siege. Of bombing. Of a relentless de-humanization campaign. Of tunnels and kidnapping and retaliations, and “you’re right” and “I’m…

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Love & Squalor in the Middle East

This is so powerful!

burns the fire

As the trauma in Israel/Palestine rages on, I try to keep my focus on growing peace between people, far from politics, wherever I see the light. Meet Tali Goodfriend. Her life story is more stunning than most, but it is what she does with her experience, that makes her a poster child for love.

Tali was five when her father had a dream that he could help bring the Messiah to life. He moved their family from Miami, Florida to the Negev desert in Israel, and started to build a Jewish settlement in the sand. Tali was the first of nine children to come, with her Dad’s two wives, her two Moms. They lived and went to school in a tent, with no running water or electricity, while her father and his followers worked to make the desert green.

sign Aravah: south of Beersheba, borders Jordan to the east.

Growing up, Tali became close to a family of Palestinian-Bedouins who lived in a camp nearby.

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