and this will end the cycle of violence?

Travel adventures within the West Bank:

[The general secretary of the Tulkarm Blood Bank Society, Azzam Al-Araj, writes,] There is a curfew in effect in my town in Palestine. When I take the risk of walking to my office, which is about a mile from my house, I often bring my 8-year-old son, Mahmod, to show that I am not a threat to the Israeli forces in the town. But he does not always accompany me. In June I made it from Tulkarm to Toledo, Spain, to spend a month with my colleagues from throughout the Middle East, including Israelis, to talk about the future of civil society and governance in our region.

I am not going to describe in detail the killing of Palestinians, the stifling curfew, the malnutrition among Palestinian children, the house demolitions going on around me, or my wife's daily trauma when each member of my family leaves to go to work or class and she remains home to pray that we all return home safely. Instead, I am going to tell you a story about hope overcoming occupation. It is a mundane tale, really, compared with all that is happening here, and yet in a small way it is important.

In order to attend the international institute in Toledo, I left my home in Tulkarm on Monday, June 17, at 5:30 in the morning with the intention of taking a flight on June 22 from Amman, Jordan, to Madrid.

The distance between his town and Amman is 60 miles, but only for crows, these days. Azzam needed five days, and he almost didn't make it. The story which continues his account is anything but mundane, at least in a world we would want to live in.

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Published on August 12, 2002 4:23 PM.

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