Do we stop caring when there's no hope? Moving past the headlines with personal stories that create a human connection, an emotional connection.
A man holds a misbaha in the old city of Jerusalem. (photo: Flavio Grynszpan/Flickr, cc by 2.0)
The growing rift between Israel and the Arab world makes it hard to imagine that Jews and Arabs once coexisted across the Middle East. At one point these identities could be found not only in the same neighborhood, but even in the same person.
Is it an oxymoron to be an Arab Jew? An Arab Jew refers either to a Jew living in the Arab world or one whose ancestors came from Arab countries. This term flourished once in the Middle East but is not widely known today. Not long ago there were Jews living in the cities of the Middle East who were integrated into their societies and held influential roles in their communities and economies.
In the lands between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, the first of three Christmas celebrations was on December 24, the Christmas of the English, or so we thought of it then in the years of my adolescence. My family — ethnic Armenians, Christians by subscription more than piety — had settled in Jordan, a largely Muslim country, where I grew into adulthood, pulled this way and that by the three Christmases of the Holy Land. Of course it was a misnomer to call it the Christmas of the English because December 24 was celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Arabs as well.
From Eindhoven to Ramallah, Picasso's "Buste de Femme" arrives in Palestine.
Since we went to Israel and the West Bank, I haven’t been able to read the news from those places in the same way. Before, it generally depressed me. Now I find it painful with a more personal edge.
But on a profounder level than that, I am made crazy by the incompleteness — the narrow lens through which reality in this most intense of human and religious places is filtered. We often only get one side of something that has countless sides, at least more than two. Or we get the tail end of a story that is multi-layered and can’t be told validly without something of its beginning and its middle. And always, in the West, we are focused on what is happening at the tip of the iceberg — the high-level, political arena of negotiations, of votes, of posturing.
Experiencing the "other" online. The first of a three-part series, Life Together, in which Christin Davis of the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism profiles the coexistence efforts among Palestinians and Israelis who are trying to create new ways of living with each other in the Holy Land.
TEDxRamallah is taking place right now. The event started at 9:30 am Palestinian time (2:30 am Eastern). The event ends at 6:00 pm Palestinian time. There will be four sessions with a total of 18 speakers having talks varying from 4 to 18 minutes in length. Julia Bacha of Just Vision is speaking right now.
I’ll do some more work and share the rest of the line-up in a minute. Here are a list of speakers, but I can’t find an official rundown. Can you?
Maram Masrawi challenges Jewish + Arab women in Israel to "join forces + build a shared agenda for change."
Wondering if you're in a Jewish or Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem? Look at the sidewalks.
Editor’s note: Krista and the On Being team are in Israel this week and working with Diane Winston’s graduate students from the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism. We’ll be sharing some of these students’ reports as part of our collaboration and to add to the diversity of observations of this complex place.
A daughter sings despite her Palestinian father's wishes and rekindles her Islamic values on her own terms. A guest contribution from USC's Jon Dillingham.
I teach at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Among my course offerings is religion coverage, an increasingly marginalized beat within a progressively problem-ridden industry.
Although religion is a key element in reporting on politics, culture, and society, cash-strapped news outlets are cutting back specialty beats to save money. Even more troublesome, legacy news jobs are fewer than ever, the news hole is shrinking, and the favored style of story telling is sensational, simplistic, and conflict-driven. Nevertheless, my goals remain the same: helping students to write clearly, think critically, and probe religion’s role in social and political trends and events.
For the last two years, I’ve pursued those goals by focusing on the fault-lines in the coverage of global religion. Using the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a starting point, I’ve asked students to find alternative frames for the conflict along with new voices to lift up and unsung stories to tell.
His answer to the audience question, “Is religion potentially dangerous?” is one that’s often asked in the context of the seemingly intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
“Palestinian member of the Forum, Ali Abu-Awad met with more than 60 members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, Palestinian fighters most of who are on Israel’s most wanted list. He spoke about non-violent resistance and the work of the Parents Circle - Families Forum and gave them an alternative framework to function. After six hours these hardened fighters wanted to know more and there will be ongoing meetings. Many in the meantime have given up their arms and are looking for another way.”