Dangerous Dreams

Fred Stanton
Lingua: Inglese

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New York Times magazine couldn't understand why Palestinian children do what they do...
Well, that is not so difficult: they were being ethnically cleansed by the Zionist movement. People were force from their home, people were killed and homes were burned down, so the people fled in hope for a new and better live somewhere else (which most of them didn’t). Because of they would make it bigger it would lose it’s status as a refugee camp and would lose most of the support their getting from the UN and other organizations. If aid to the people would be stopped there would not be much hope for these people since they’re not educated, they don’t have money and don’t have any means to make a life for them selves. So the problem would only grow for these people.
The biggest ratio of martyrs in the two Intifatas came from Balats (if you count per capita), that the main reason why seventy percent of the population is under eighteen. The cemetery is full of young men who lost their live fighting for freedom. And today there are around seven hundred fifty men permanently disabled in the camp because of the two wars. Nablus was the centre of the rebellion (and is still today) in the West-Bank which explains why so many young men from Nablus and the camps have died in battle with Israel. Just like in Balata the Israeli army invades the other camps and Nablus every single night. It’s an unwritten agreement that from 12’o clock midnight until 6’o clock in the morning the army controls Nablus and the camps. That’s the life for these people, endless invasions, house demolitions, killing and arrests for now good reasons. The army therefore has a dramatic effect on the every day life of the people there.
Children and grownups have had to see a lot of atrocities in their lives which a permanent mark on every single soul in the camps and Nablus (and a huge part of the other Palestinian people). The children are raised in a manner western children could never imagine in their worst nightmares. These children do not live with the security and healthy environment we westerners live with (of course I´m not generalizing about all westerners). Therefore the schools have tried to have it as their motto to enforce both their social awareness and keeping them busy with things not related to conflict and misery. Along with regular school activities some of the children have extra curriculum activities such as learning on instruments, making short films, theatre, gymnastics and et cetera. These activities keep most of the children from rock throwing and keeps them from getting in to trouble, but of course not every one can be prevented from trouble. That’s one of the reasons why education here in Palestine (and everywhere else) is so important, not only to teach them how to read an write but to lead them to a better life. The occupation is making this task very hard though.
One of the most successful and popular activities in the camps is short film making, the children make their own scripts and costumes them selves, then they get a video camera and shoot their film. And ones a year the best films compete against each other in a film festival in Ramallah. This program has proved it self to be both successful and helpful to the children, and that’s the most important thing of all.
One book I specially recommend is the book ‘The ethnic cleansing of Palestine’ by Ilan Pappé ( who is an Israeli historian, shunned by his fellow Israelis for telling the truth about how Israel works, from the beginning to the present.
Ahmed is sleeping, Ahmed is dreaming,
Dreaming of a home he has never seen,
Where the soil is rich, for growing olives,
Olives and flowers, and the air is clean.

Hurry up, Ahmed, eat your porridge.
The smell of porridge, freshly made.
Ahmed's schoolbag is hanging heavy,
With the brass and copper that schoolboys trade.

Teargas shells and bullet cases
Become an oasis, a tower, a stream,
Dangerous, dangerous dreams…

He's a dream-eyed boy
in this place called Beach Camp,
No beach, just garbage, and dust on your clothes.
Concrete boxes for a million people,
A million people who can't go home.

Ahmed cuts school and heads for the crossroads,
The desert crossroads, the barbed-wire line,
Where tanks and soldiers guard handfuls of settlers
From the rock-throwing children of Palestine.

Teargas shells and bullet cases
Become an oasis, a tower, a stream,
Dangerous, dangerous dreams…

Ahmed can't hear this bullet coming,
Only the music the future will bring,
When Jews and Arabs can dance on this desert
And no one will dictate the songs they sing.

Who needs this army, this army of Zion?
Who needs to build this killing machine?
Steel-studded borders, cold-blooded orders
Who's afraid of children with dangerous dreams?

Teargas shells and bullet cases
Become an oasis, a tower, a stream,
Dangerous, dangerous dreams.

inviata da giorgio - 29/11/2009 - 11:45

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