A peaceful, long-lasting resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict may never be found until both sides learn to see each other, not as "the enemy," but as fellow human beings. Teen Voices from the Holy Land takes a creative approach toward reaching greater understanding between two peoples who have known little but mutual hostility and suspicion for over fifty years. Based on interviews of thirty-four Palestinian and Israeli teenagers, this uplifting book presents candid, first-person narratives of their day-to-day lives. These young people describe their ordinary lives, including their interests, facts about their families, friendships, and neighborhoods, as well as their spiritual concerns and dreams for the future. Photographs of the youngsters accompany the narratives, and together both picture and story offer a revealing glimpse into the common humanity that Palestinians and Israelis share. A striking aspect of these stories is the depth of understanding and the brutal honesty exhibited. One teen exclaims, "If children had been in charge of managing their countries, things would not have happened the way they did. Children know how to get along with one another, despite everything." Another says, "A person should be loyal to his principles, but there’s something more important which he has to do: He must be ready to criticize his own views." Everyone interviewed expresses the hope that they will someday live in peace with others in the region. The voices that speak movingly from these pages offer many insights into the perceptions and feelings of young people in this strife-torn area of the world. They hold out the hope that the shared dream of peace may eventually overcome the differences that now divide the two sides.
"This is a book about hope. We really can have peace in the Middle East one day. Daniel says it best: ‘If children had been in charge of their countries, things would not have happened the way they did. Children know how to get along with one another despite everything.’ As we pass our world along to the next generation, I know they will do better than we have in the peacemakng process." HOWARD DEAN Former Governor of Vermont
"Congratulations to Professors Watad and Grob for compiling the articulate Teen Voices from the Holy Land. May the decision-makers hear them! We are inspired by the honesty and the promise of youth. These Israeli and Palestinian teenagers share with us a collective dream of human beings resolving our differences, no matter how difficult, in a civilized manner consistent with the meaning of Holy Land." LINCOLN CHAFEE Former US Senator from Rhode Island
Teen Voices from the Holy Land by Mahmoud Watad and Leonard Grob