The Odyssey
The Odyssey


Middle East Live Chats

Chat Transcript - January 11, 2000
Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 9am PST / 12 noon
Chat 1

Welcome to The Odyssey Live Chats Transcripts from the Middle East! The Trekkers join students in the Dheishe Refugee Camp.

You can submit question before and during the chat. You will only be able to see the questions the Team selects and their responses.

<Moderator>: Greetings to everyone joining us. The students in the Dheishe Refugee Camp are almost ready to begin. Two minutes to start! Keep sending your questions in!

<Moderator>: Joining us today are the following students: Eman - a girl, age 17, Ahmed - a boy, age 13, Matassem, a boy, age 15, and Jihad - a boy, age 18.

<Moderator>: Greetings to Eman, Ahmed, Matase, and Jihad! OK, here come your questions!

<Liz(Oceanport, NJ)>: Who are your heroes?

<Jihad>: My heroes are the leaders of the Ibda'a Center - Ziad and Khaled

<Jihad>: They have experienced a lot in life and I was with them since I was six years-old. Both have finished university. Ziad is a journalist and I want to be like him in the future. Khaled is a teacher and all the kids like him.

<Matassem>: My hero's name is Rashid from my high school. Rashid teaches me many good things like dancing, sports, and public speaking.

<Ahmed>: My father. Because he is a great man, he made a man out of himself, out of nothing. He is a teacher, and teaches the children to be strong.

<Eman>: My uncle is from Jordan, and he studied in Iraq, he has a wife and a small baby, whose name is Ibrahim. He has good luck.

<Lindsay (Oceanport, NJ)>: What kind of jobs exist in your refugee camp?

<Ahmed>: The jobs here are teachers, doctors, engineers, and employers, builders.

<Matassem>: We have people working in construction and some people working in the schools as teachers.

<Moderator>: We've just been joined by another student from Dheishe. His name is Mohammed and he's 13 year old. Welcome Mohammed!

<Soraya (Houston, TX)>: Is there a favorite singer you have or type of music?

<Jihad>: I prefer basketball to music.

<Ahmed>: Kazem Alsaher, he's from Iraq, I like him because he has good songs, and the songs are about the country and romance and many things...

<Mohammed>: I also really like to listen to Kazem Alsaher. He is an Arab singer.

<Eman>: I have a favorite, his name is Hani Sheker, he sings sad music.

<Moderator>: We have a question from Jihad for you in the United States.

<Jihad>: What is life in US high schools like?

<Moderator>: While you send your answers in, here's another question from the States:

<Howard (Oceanport, NJ)>: Do Palestinian children like Americans?

<Matassem>: I like American children but I don't know about others.

<Ahmed>: Yes. They're the best because when we visited to America, the best thing was the people. I went to America in September and we returned in October. We went with IBDA, which is a traditional dancing group, here in Dheishe.

<Eman>: I like many things, I hate many things. I'd like to study there in the university and the school, but I don't like America because it's very strong and very hard for the people and the people are not straight. Some people are poor, poor, poor. Some people are high, high, high

<Jihad>: I don't like the American Government. I hope people are better than their government.

<Moderator>: We're getting some answers to the question Jihad asked about American schools:

<Gdod (Lockport, IL)> : [The schools are] very challenging, but also very educational and have many fun activities to join.

<Moderator>: Jihad wants to explain why he doesn't like the US government:

<Jihad>: Because they help Israel to deprive us of our rights: right to freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of choice

<Jihad>: And they are responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

<Mohammed> - The US Gov. always wants to be in control of everything

<Moderator>: We have another question for students in the US:

<Matassem>: I'm wondering what Americans think of Palestinian people.

<Gdod (Lockport, IL)>: Sometimes we disagree with our government, but consider ourselves to be nice people.

<Lauren (Oceanport, NJ)>: What is a typical day like for you?

<Ahmed>: First I wake up and prepare myself, then go to the school in the camp at 7 o'clock. I'm in eighth grade. When I'm back in the home at twelve, I take the lunch, makluba--you don't know these things, it means "up and down" in English, made from rice and beans and meat. Then I rest, after that, I come to IBDAA cultural center and I help in the internet lab here.

<Ahmed>: After that, I go to friends', then I study at eight o'clock or nine, after studying, maybe I watch tv a little then go to sleep

<Jihad>: I always go to school at 7am and finish 2pm. After that I eat lunch and rest and then do homework or play basketball

<Jihad>: At 6pm I come to the Ibda'a Center and I help the other children to use the computers and Internet

<Eman>: I wake up, go to school. All the time I'm in IBDAA Cultural Center, I speak with the children here. I play, like volleyball, I go to Bethlehem to buy something, I go to my sister's in Dheishe camp, she has a wonderful baby. I have email on hotmail, I watch TV (one hour), I help my mother in the house, I think I do many things. I get very angry if something bad happens, and this is it.

<Matassem>: One more thing: We also participate in the creation of our website at the Ibda'a Center. We have the first computer center in a refugee camp here in Palestine.

<Ahmed>: The website here is

<Matassem>: We also post pictures on our site of kids from the camp and events around the camp.

<Brookshire (Brevard, NC)>Daniel : What are your ideas on a peace agreement? What do you think you should do for peace?

<Mohammed>: Israeli people must make a just peace

<Moderator>: We've lost our connection with the Dheishe Refugee Camp. After five minutes of silence from them, we received a phone call from Kevin, the World Trekker, and he informed us that the power has gone out in Dheishe.

<Moderator>: We will e-mail them more of your questions and post their answers in the "Chat Transcript".

<Moderator>: So be sure to check that out. AND, be sure to check out our NEXT CHAT on Thursday!

<Moderator>: Chat with Jewish Israeli students from the Givat Hayyim Ichud Kibbutz. Thursday, Jan. 13 at 9am PST / 12 noon EST

<Moderator>: Thank you, everyone, for joining us, and our apologies that the power went out at the Refugee Camp.

<Moderator>: Until Thursday, goodbye.

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