Middle East
Teacher's Guide

January 5, 2000 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

Check out this date's update
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:

Abeja - Religions of the World, Unite!

Abeja travels to Haifa, Israel, the world center of the Bahá'í faith, and reports on the history and some of the beliefs of this religion.

The end of this dispatch talks of the wish for unity and peace worldwide. What recent events have happened to give us hope that this can be achieved? How is it happening already? How do students think they can contribute to ^#34;peace and unity " in their communities

Abeja - 'Twas the Holiday of Holidays!
Kids' version available

Abeja tells the story of the Holiday of Holidays interfaith festival in Haifa, Israel in the form of a poem based on "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Have kids emulate Abeja's sense of fun and take a shot at writing their own "spoof" of a holiday song or poem, based on the religion they practice (and even if they don't!).

Kavitha - Homeless in Your Own House

Life is examined at the Balata Refugee Camp in Palestine after the Intifadah. Having lived there for over 50 years, the refugees have created an existence, but not a home.

Have students consider what it would really be like for them not to feel "at home" as these refugees do. To think what it would be like not to be able to go home or to really belong. Have them list the five most important things they would miss if they had to pack up and leave their home tomorrow and live in a tent in another country.

Monica - A New Year, A Fresh Start?
Kids' version available

Monica describes Y2K celebrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, with a discussion of the Muslim and Jewish calendars, religious fanaticism, and the contested ownership of Jerusalem.

It's a New Year, right-and a new Millennium! A good time to have students list their resolutions for the new year. Have them list out 4 things they would like to change/have happen in 2000. Then, have them write down a "Wild Card" event/wish/resolution as well. Collect them all and give to children at the end of the school year to open on 1/1/2001!

Monica - Christmas Eve in Bethlehem 1999

Monica recounts her Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. She attended midnight mass in the Church of St. Catherine's along with students involved in the youth peace organization called Seeds of Peace.

This is a moving account of a very special night-one that is "viewed" differently by Christians, Jews, Muslims etc. Discuss with students the precise differences between these religions regarding what this night does or does not represent to them. What exactly does it mean to your students, and why?

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