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Kids' Zone Abeja Dispatch

Mother May I? No!!
January 29, 2000

If I know you, you're looking at this story on a computer at school. Or at least you learned about the Odyssey in school. Maybe you're sitting in your classroom right now. The teacher is there, and one or two of your friends. Not a bad place to be, is it?

Now imagine that lots and lots of your friends-almost all of them in fact-are across the hall in another, bigger classroom. And that classroom has yummy cookies and lots of great toys to play with. Sounds good, right? Sounds like that's the place to be!

Now imagine that the principal, who runs the school, controls the hallway and has decided that you're not allowed to be in it. You can stay in your classroom, but you can't go in the hall. How are you going to get those yummy cookies? How are you going to play those fun games? Worst of all, how will you see your friends?

This is kind of what it's like for a group of people living thousands of miles away in a country called Israel. They're called Palestinians, and Israel won't let them cross from one area, called the "Gaza Strip," to another, bigger area, called the "West Bank," except in special buses. Israel controls the hallway in between.

This means that the Palestinians can't leave the Gaza Strip when they want to, and can't see their friends and families when they want to. All because the Israelis and Palestinians don't get along.

What if you couldn't leave your classroom? What if you couldn't see your friends? What would you tell the Palestinians and Israelis?


p.s. - Please e-mail me at

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