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  • Who speaks for Syria?

    We who are Syria’s neighbors, among whom so many of Syria’s victims have sought shelter, owe it to them — and to ourselves — to speak honestly and without shame about this singularly Arab tragedy. In so doing, we must create space for our Syrian sisters and brothers to lift their voices above those of others. Khalil, the produce vendor, is producing a map, on a cardboard scrap, that tells of cherries. Sourced from points north, they are sweeter, he tells me, because they are darker. But I want to know how: how did Syrian cherries end up, fresh and firm,…

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  • Just another interrogation: My encounter with the Shin Bet

    For one Palestinian citizen of Israel, interrogations by the Shin Bet are a routine which include delays and harassment for no apparent reason. By Awad Abdel Fattah I was fortunate this week. I had a quick and easy crossing from Jordan back into Israel. No delays, no questions, no invasive body searches and no lengthy rummaging through my luggage. The border guard sitting next to the computer took my passport, opened it and looked at the screen, presumably to check for any special alert. Unlike previous occasions, she didn’t leave her seat and disappear into another room to take instructions on…

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  • A Palestinian mother grapples daily with the traumas of the Nakba

    Amira is a 30-year-old Palestinian woman, struggling to raise her three children in Shuafat Refugee Camp. Amira grapples with fear, feelings of vulnerability, and isolation from her family in Amman. But her biggest concern is teaching her children to love. The robbery was the proverbial straw that broke Amira’s back. Two weeks ago, Amira, her husband, and three children discovered their house in Shuafat Refugee Camp had been broken into. The money that Amira and her husband, Munir, had set aside for a family vacation to Jordan—where Amira’s parents and three brothers live—was gone. Jewelry that had sentimental value was…

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  • I am an Arab Jew

    A Lebanese band's concert in Jordan offered  this Arab Jew from Haifa a new take on her identity and one of the of the key premises of the Arab-Jewish conflict. By Lihi Yona Last Tuesday, I returned from Amman. I went to see a concert given by the Lebanese band Mashrou3 Leila in the only Middle Eastern Arab country still open for Israeli Jews to freely visit. The best way to get from Israel to Amman is by bus from Nazareth. The passengers were mostly elderly Arabs going to travel in Jordan and the rest were a bunch of fellow…

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