Monday, November 19, 2007

Palestinian Children: Living Without Hope

An interesting look at childhood in Gaza, posted this summer:
tabula gaza: Children of Gaza

It reminds me a lot of the children I worked with in a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. They were growing up, in many cases, without water or electricity. Crammed into rooms of dilapidated houses, in one of the most densely populated sq. kilometers in the world.

Their school, with the Dome of the Rock painted on the door, was completely bullet-ridden. The top half, gone. Rain came through, and pooled on the slanted cement. Children wore their coats inside. If they had them.

And many of them, just 3-years-old, wouldn't smile. Wouldn't laugh. Wouldn't be children.

Others, despite the anguish, were still overflowing with life. Tiny little trouble makers with glowing eyes, and bouncing curls.

I still remember watching one of them dance. She was tiny. Probably the smallest child I've ever seen. And she loved the music of her people. Turning her fingers to the rhythm. While in the background, a historic puppet show demonstrated how children were shot down with tanks and guns.

That is their life. Where do we go from here?

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