Middle East
Teacher's Guide

December 22, 1999 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:

Christine - A Little Town Called Bethlehem
Kid's version available

Christine (Monica's Mom)'s impressions of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, subject of Christmas carols and example of Palestinian-Israeli relations. Includes references to the Gospel of Luke, the Church of the Nativity and "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

How does Christine's impression of Bethlehem differ from Abeja's? How are they the same?

Kavitha - Tidings of Comfort and Joy... and Exploitation: The Buck Stops With You

Kavitha reminds us to spend our money wisely so as not to encourage unjust companies or organizations. Includes information on the World Trade Organization, Gush Shalom, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Israeli settlements.

Look at the links at the end of Kavitha's dispatch. Do you or your students support any of these companies? If so, consider exercising the power in your piggybank and choosing to support other companies that are more in harmony with you own actions and beliefs. Every purchase you make is supporting someone, so you might as well support the people and companies you believe in.

Abeja - Bethlehem: May the Millennium Bring Peace
Kid's version available

An assessment of the state of Bethlehem as the millennium approaches. Reviews the town's tumultuous past over the last twelve years and the roles of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Intifada, and Yasir Arafat.

Calculate the recent changes in Bethlehem over the past 10 years. What do you think the future will bring?

Abeja - Nazareth: Trouble Brewing in Jesus' Hometown

Abeja reports on modern day Nazareth and the conflicts that exist there between Muslim and Christian Arabs. Includes information about Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Palestine, Muslims, Jews, Christians and Galilee.

What is Ramadan? How is it different or the same from the holiday you celebrate this time of year?

Kevin - Theodore Herzl: A Jewish Visionary

This is a brief history of the founding of the Jewish State, now known as Israel. We meet the man, Theodore Herzl, who dreamed up this radical concept and turned it into a reality.

Do you know any other people who have devoted their life to a cause they really believed in? Find five facts about that person and share it with the class.

Nancy - St. Helena Hits the Spot

Nancy, Abeja's mom, writes about visiting Christian and Muslim pilgrimage spots in Jerusalem (i.e. Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Stations of the Cross).

Why do you think Nancy feels skeptical about the actual locations of all these events? Explain your answer.

Kavitha - The Facts of Fasts

Kavitha relates her experience in Old Jerusalem during the Ramadan, the Muslim tradition of fasting for a month. Includes information on Ramadan, Jerusalem in general and the diverse population within Jerusalem - Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Give something up that you like for a determined amount of time - perhaps chocolate or ice cream. Can you do it? Why do you think fasting is so significant for Ramadan?

Team - The New Millennium: All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go

Explains why the millennium is really in 2001. Describes Denis the Little, and year measurement in Gregorian, Muslim, Jewish, and other calendar systems.

When do YOU think the Millennium is? Discuss your answer.

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