It should take Amal Abed Rabbo, 16, one hour to reach the Lutheran Dar al-Kalima School
in Bethlehem from her Jericho home. With Israeli travel restrictions,
it takes three hours each way. Instead, she stays with her uncle’s
family in Bethlehem during the week.
But the Roman
Catholic 11th-grader doesn’t harbor any hatred. “The situation is not
good for us, but I don’t have hatred against Israel,” she said. “I have
hope and faith that the situation will one day end and we will have
|Amira Shokeh (left), 16, and Mohanad Khatib, 16, discuss tolerance with Tony Nassar (center), Christianity teacher at Dar Al-Kalima School in Bethlehem. |
Students at the four schools run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
must strive daily to practice Jesus’ edict to “love thy neighbor.” Each
day they face political hardships with the Israeli government and
within their society. Charlie Haddad, educational director for the
schools, sees helping students come to terms with their reality as a
main task, in addition to striving for academic excellence.
they start hating, it will never end,” he said. “It is the biggest
challenge to convince the young people not to feel [hate]. Of course
they struggle with it. They see the news, hear their parents and feel
the economic hardship. It is very difficult to convince them that it is
a government doing that and not to stereotype a whole nation.”
But Haddad doesn’t necessarily want the children to get used to the situation either.
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