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My blond-headed, blue-eyed, 21-year-old Scotch-Irish Presbyterian American daughter is living in a refugee camp in the West Bank right now. She has lived in the West Bank off and on for six months or so over the past thirty months. Her first jaunt there was to join a group of about seventy people to help rebuild a house for a Palestinian family whose home had been bulldozed by the Israeli government. She is drawn to the land, the people, the culture, and her experiences inform me better than any writings in US media I come across.
She called me yesterday morning. She needed mommy advice in order to decide whether to stay in the crazy-violent, chaotic and dangerous West Bank or go to the somewhat less violent, chaotic and dangerous Jordan for the six weeks remaining before she returns to the US for her senior year of college. We had a wonderful 2-hour conversation and it felt good to me that I helped her reach a decision she feels comfortable with.
I am in awe of her 21-year-old smarts, savvy, and survival instinct. I'm unapologetically proud of her willingness to live her life according to her deep sense of justice, responsibility, curiosity and generosity. She gives me hope for the future and I'm so happy that I was able to help her think through her profoundly significant and oh-so-21-year-old dilemmas with what experience and wisdom my years have afforded me. Talking to her yesterday was one of those rare and precious mommy-moments that make the whole parenting thing hands-down worthwhile.
Beneath the orange caliph of maternal bliss is a link to an example of what she's seeing, thinking and feeling while being a young American activist in the hyper-hot middle east. If you like what you read, please consider sending her a little Tumblr love. Thanks. ____
Because really when it comes to a lot of these things, there isn’t enough nuance in the world to excuse the blatant human rights abuses and fundamental disregard for humanity.