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The Odyssey


Middle East Live Chats

Chat Transcript - January 13, 2000
Thursday, Jan. 13 at 9am PST / 12 noon

Welcome to The Odyssey Live Chats Transcripts from the Middle East! Abeja Hummel joins Jewish Israeli students from the Givat Hayyim Ichud Kibbutz.

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> Welcome everyone! We're ready to begin shortly! Keep those questions coming in!

<Abeja> Hi! This is Abeja here at Kibbutz Givat Hayyim Ichud in Israel. With us tonight (it's night for us) are: Maya, she's 14; Hagai, he's 14; Tomer, he's 15; Nimrod, he's 13; and Willy the dog--he's 4 years old and can't type yet, so you won't hear much from him.

<St. Patrick (Carlsbad, CA)>How do you feel about the American government?

<Nimrod> Like, what do you mean by that question? Compared to us? Compared to... I don't know. <Nimrod> My dad just told me that they give Israel millions of dollars each year. Thank you very much! <Nimrod> We really appriciate the help that you give us! But the problem is that not all the Israeli's know about the help that you give us.

<C.J Ward (Brevard, NC)> Are you highly religious?

<Nimrod> In a way, yes. But I don't wear a kippah (yamaka) and I don't go to synagogue, and I travel on shabbat, and I don't eat kosher.

<Tomer> Not at all.

<Jennifer (Pasadena,Tx)> What is it like where you live?

<Tomer> It's nice. It's a lot different from the city. It has a different environment. Something like 1000 people only on the Kibbutz.

<Maya> It's boring. So boring. Nice, quiet, boring

<Maya> It's a beautiful, clean place.

<Christy (Oceanport, NJ)> Do you enjoy the Kibbutz lifestyle or do you prefer a more private one?

<Tomer> I hate the idea that I don't get paid for my work, that it is for the kibbutz only.

<Maya> No, I want to be in the city. Kibbutz is a private place, but not private. Everybody knows about everybody. Gossip!

<Nimrod> It's very nice, and I think I have more classes and that, after school activities, than Moshavniks (poeple who live in villages)

<Maya> What's life like in America. It's big! We're from the little place!

<St. Patrick (Carlsbad, CA)> We have 50,000 people here in Carlsbad alone! It's very, very crowded here. There's a lot of traffic!

<Tomer> I want to know what people in America do in there free time!

<Mario (Houston ,Texas)> What is your favorite song and group?

<Tomer> I like heavy rock, and especially Metallica

<Maya> I like Alanis Morrisette and black music like hip-hop

<Hagai> I like the Cardigans and the Cranberries

<Nimrod> I like M&M...

<Aly> Tomer, I like heavy rock too

<Tomer> WHICH bands do you like, Aly?

<Tara (Oceanport, NJ)> Who makes the laws in the kibbutz? Are there any laws?

<Tomer> The secretariate.

<Maya> LAWS! they are from Israel!

<Maya> There are laws from only the Kibbutz, but they are not big things, like who gets which house.

<Tomer> Have you guys seen the movie "The Matrix."

<Amanda Woodbury (Brevard NC)> How have you been affected by the peace process?

<Maya and Nimrod> Which part of the peace process. There was with Jordan, then Palestinian, then the Syrians, and the Lebanese....

<Maya> With Jordan, we can travel there now. But with Syria, there is a lot of debate. Should we give back the Golan, should we not?

<Hagai> I never really thought about it, so, but what people talk about now is peace with Syria, and the negotiations about giving back the Golan. And, I didn't really think about it!

<Tomer> Yeah, it effects me...

<Maya> You need to know that in Israel there is not war all the time. There is not people dead on the street. There were in 1996, but not now.

<Hagai> It's not like Kosovo or Yugoslavia. There aren't soldiers on the streets or guns and tanks. It's very peaceful, but from time to time, there are terrorists. And dead soldiers from time to time in Lebanon and on the borders.

<Tomer and Maya> Of course we want peace, and to bring back the Golan. Because there were wars for so many years, so it must stop some time. The sooner the better.

<Ryan (N.B.,Canada)> What are your favorite subjects in your schools??

<Nimrod> Geography

<Tomer> Computers and I don't know.

<Hagai> I like the Bible. They don't like it because they are Kibbutzniks! I'm not a religious person but I like the Bible

<Maya> Liturature and history and biology and English and all the humanities

<Hagai> Maya learns to dance, and I learn art and poetry

<Maya> I dance and act and play saxophone outside of school, and I write with Hagai on the school newspaper...

<Kristina> Do you have a boyfriend or girl friend?

<Nimrod> No. Do you?

<Maya> No we don't

<Tomer> No. Who is asking?

<Hagai> We were a couple, but now we're just very good friend.....

<Maya> Hagai was a couple with me, but no more.

<Abeja> That question set off quite a little spat here between Hagai and Maya, can we move on! <Abeja> We've got pizza ready here! Yippee!

what broke ya up who decided it?

<Maya> I don't talk about it, it belongs to the past. It's a new Millenium

<Tomer> How did you celebrate the millennium?

<>Angela (Pasadena,Tx)> Tomer we partied all night!! It was so cool!!


<Nimrod> It was an ok party.

<Jennifer (Pasadena,TX)> What kind of foods do you eat?

<Nimrod> Everything that is junk food that is fattening and that is good.

<Maya> I like to eat everything, but I not like it!

<Tomer> What mummy makes is almost always good.

<Hagai> I like homemade stuff, but I eat everything!@

<KARA (TX)> What kind of pizza is it?

<Hagai> a regular pizza with olives and tomatoes and cheese. Christopher made it.

<Bald, Christopher> I'm their teacher.

<Maya> Not so very good, and Christopher made it. Christopher makes us miserable in his class, so we make him miserable in his house!

<Christopher> Can you speak to your students like Maya speaks to me?

<Claire (Oceanport, NJ)> Did you watch the ball drop on New Years Eve in New York City?

<Tomer> It's not interesting.

<Maya> Yes, but not at the real time. It was a rerun, we were asleep.

<Abeja> Remember, it is 7 hours earlier here than in New York, and 10 hours earlier than California. Their New year started first.

<Sarah (Carlsbad, CA)>> What do you do over the holidays? Do you travel? Do you celebrate it with your family?

<Tomer> I stay home and watched TV.

<Nimrod> I sleep, eat, sleep and watch a lot of TV, play on the computer, and I play Dungeons and Dragons.

<Hagai> In the evening holidays, we have evening holidays but not like Christmas. Our holidays start in the night. So we celebrate with our families. I have a big family, so our uncles come and we have a big party. And most of the holidays I go to my uncles because they have sons my age.

<Tomer> Sleep, eat, internet, read books.

<Maya> I'm not religious, so I just do nothing. In the kibbutz, at night, there are parties on Rosh Hashana and Hanakah and Purim and Petsak..SO many holidays!

<Claire (Oceanport, NJ)> Does your school have any cliches?

<Maya> I don't understand the question? Like, when it rains it pours?

<Hagai> We have slang, but it's coming and going, from the beginning of the year to the end of it.

<Hagai> It is stupid, because we have a joke on it,we understand it, but for people who don't know, they wouldn't understand, we would sound stupid.

<Moderator> I think she meant "cliques"...

<Maya> Yes, and it's me and Hagai and some other girls and thats it. There are no other boys, only Hagai. There are so many groups in our grade.

<Nimrod> We have a group of freaks, wow, cool, what's up, a lot of hair, chill out man. We have a group of people who think they are strong and big but there not.

<Hagai> In the school, in each grade, there is only four classes with thirty students each, so we have 100-120 students in a grade. Everyone has his friends in his group that you hang out with.

<Tomer> We have 20 Leos in grade 10 and only 4 Aquariuses.

<Maya> There are groups that you hang with that are your close friends, but there are also people that we know, and they are friends of mine, but farther.

<Moderator> Our Israeli participants can keep going for another half hour - so feel free to keep sending in your questions!

<Ryan (N.B. Canada)>> What t.v. shows do you watch?

<Hagai> I have cable, so my list will be longer. Uh, Friends, Dahrma and Greg, Will and Grace, Party of 5, and Mad about Love

<Nimrod> Buffy the Vampire Killer, Ally Mc Beal, Dharma and Greg, The 3rd Rock From the Sun. My favorite movies are The Matrix and The Rock.

<Tomer> I don't watch much TV or movies.

<Maya> Um, Dharma and Greg, Alley McBeal, Third Rock from the Sun, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sabrina, Two guys a girl and a Pizza Place, and Holding the Baby.

<Hagai> And MTV of course, and a lot of movies My favorite movies are Armageddon, Wild Wild West, Inspector Gadget, Cool Runnings, Matrix.

<Claire (Oceanport, NJ)> What is it like to live away from your parents when you're 15?

<Maya> It's only about the Kibutzniks, ok, and It's called the Neureem, it means teen-agers. It's a neighborhood in the kibbutz, but it's close. It's not far from home. I live near to the Neureem, but I don't live there yet

<Tomer> I will move this year to my room but I won't be there all the time. I'll eat diner with my parents.

<Scott> are you lookin forward to moving away from your parents?

<Nimrod> Yes, I hope to have my own apartment as soon as possible so that I'll have a quiet place so that my brothers and sisters won't antagonize me.

<Hagai> I live in a moshav, but I go to the local school. I want to live in the Kibbutz, in Givat Hayyim Ichud, If not, I would like to live in canada.

<Tomer> I can't wait.

<Nimrod> Do you enjoy going to school?

<Maya> I love my parents. I love them so much, but sometimes they make me mad. I go crazy. Then I must go somewhere quiet. So I must move away so I can go somewhere quiet.

<Tami (Oceanport, NJ)> Do you want to join the Israeli Defense Force?

<Tomer> Of course.

<Nimrod> My dream is to go to the army and to be in a select combat unit.

<Maya> No, I don't. Well, yes, but it's complicated. We don't have a choice. I want to contribute in my country, but I'm not into the military stuff. We must go from 18-21, and it's the best days of your life! And I will spend it in a Madim (uniform).

<Nimrod> Do you want to join the US army?

<Hagai> Really, I don't like the army. I want to go on a trip to the East, to India and stuff. The army is taking your best days! You're young and hansome, and they take those days.

<Nadav> I want to be a player in the NBA.

<Maya> It's in the middle of your life!

<Tom (Oceanport,NJ)> Did you ever have terrorists attack your kibbutz?

<Tomer> We never had an attack in the kibbutz.

<Maya> We don't have a terror action, but in Natanya, in the bus station, where all the soldiers were passing through, they had an attack and we heard it in the middle of Nature class

<Nimrod> The nearest attack and maybe the biggest in the country was maybe 10 kilometers from us in a bus station. There were two big explosions that killed 21 soldiers and injured a lot more.

<St. Patrick (Carlsbad, CA)> We have to go. It was fun talking to you! BYE!

<GDOD (LOCKPORT,IL)> do you have any brothers or sisters?

<Tomer> I have two sister who are younger than me.

<Maya> I have a big brother named Yair age 22, and a big sister named Noam who is now in the army, and she is 20.

<Nimrod> I have a big sister 15, and a little brother (7) and a little sister (10).

<Hagai> I have a big sister, she's 22 years old, and she is in New York. And I have a big brother and I think he's 20, and one little brother, he is a real lunatic.

<Ashley> I have one brother named Patrick who is 10 and I also have a dog named Mister who is 7 and a cat named Tiger who is 2

<Maya> I have two Siberian Huskies, one male and one female, and many cats, like 10

<Ashley> Are you ever scared that somebody is just going to bomb you and you won't know it?

<Nimrod> I try to not think about it.

<Tomer> Sometimes when I go to Tel Aviv in the center of the city I think about it.

<Hagai> You need to remember what we said before. It's not like Kosovo, It's a peaceful country, and only from time to time, there are terror actions, but not here, in the border of Lebanon

<Nimrod> Every citizen in our country is supposed to have a gas mask in case there is biological warfare. We have ours in the closet.

<Maya> We're in the center of the country. And most of the scary stuff in the North in Kiriat Samona, and most of the terror action is in the north, or in Tel Aviv. They go to the big cities like Tel Aviv in Haifa, where there are many people to kill

<Ashley (Oceanport, NJ)> Oh. Our town is also peaceful like yours.

<Lianne (Oceanport NJ)> What is in fashion?

<Nimrod> My style is in the summer short pants and t-shirts and in the winter, baggy pants or jeans, a t-shirt, and a coat.

<Tomer> I'm not really into fashion. I wear what's comfortable.

<Greg (Oceanport, NJ)> Have any of you been to any concerts?

<Maya> I want to tell you something. In our school, everyone wearing what he likes. I for example, wear big pants like X-boy, and tight t-shirts and sneakers, adidas..but there are many types, everyone wears what they like. Some people come to school like hippies, like slippers. And we don't have uniforms. And from April to October, the school allows the students to go without shoes to school.

<Maya> Not yet, but I'm going to be

<Nimrod> I was in England in the summer vacation, and I went to 3 musicals: Soul Train, Boy Band, Starlight Express which wasn't as good as the other two.

<Hagai> All the singers and bands that come to Israel, they're not so big, and if they are, we don't like them

<Maya> Garbage were coming to the country, and I really really wanted to see them, but the tickets were so expensive! MaYBE in the future when I have a lot of money, I can go! But it's also in Tel Aviv, so it takes a lot of planning.

<Moderator> Our Chat time is ending. Thank you to all the classrooms from California, Texas, North Carolina, Canada and everywhere else that joined us!

<Moderator> A special thank you to Connie's class in Oceanport and to Gdod from Illinois, who've been with us for every chat!

<Abeja> Thank YOu ALL for coming and joining us! We are going to eat our pizza now, and not get the cheese on our keyboards! Bye!

<Moderator> Thank you also to all the kids from Israel that joined us and to Abeja for typing so fast!

<Moderator> Stay tuned for more chats from the countries the Trekkers are visiting next - Turkey, India and China!

<From Oceanport> Bye! Thank you for answering our questions! Take care!

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