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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Annaliza's hope

A young woman's perspective on life in Palestine

On Sept. 28, 2004, the day after the fourth anniversary of the intifada (uprising of Palestinians against Israeli occupation), Annaliza Younan read a report of casualties and losses suffered by Palestinians:

• Dead: 3,334; 621 of them children.

• Wounded by gunfire: 53,000; 10,000 of them children.

• Civilians disabled as a result of their wounds: 25,000.

The list seemed endless: homes demolished; schools, businesses and hospitals destroyed; trees ruined; orchards and farmlands confiscated ....

"I couldn't stop crying," she said. "Every day we hear about people who were killed or suffered from the occupation. But when I read the report and saw the real numbers, it was shocking. 'Jesus,' I prayed, 'this is so unfair.' "

Worldwide, people committed to peace and justice react similarly to the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis. What sets Younan apart is that she's a native Palestinian and her father, Munib, is bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan (and Palestine). For the Younan family, these statistics are real people — families, neighbors, co-workers and former schoolmates.


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