Christian Voices from the Holy Land
By Dr. Maria C. Khoury
Received Dec. 10

In order to reward our students for participating in the writing process, we promised to share their opinions with people from all over the world. From the two hundred entries that were received for the Latin Patriarchate Writing Contest, fifty were given to UNICEF in consideration for a book being published by this organization dealing with the current situation in Palestine. We are very proud to have our student writings represented in this new publication and we are working hard to continue providing excellent English language learning in our schools during these very difficult times in the Holy Land.  Furthermore, our student essays will be considered for print in "Youth Times" the local Arabic-English publication for students. Although, our workshops and meetings have come to a halt because of the closure and strict checkpoints, we are doing our best to initiate programs that continue to improve the English language. The following our excerpts from student essays:

This world is like a darkroom. I want to let the light through from a hole in the wall. I want somebody to help me find this hole and let the light through it, not only for one day, but forever. One of the differences that God pointed out, between human beings and animals was that humans should not kill each other in order to get what they want, while animals do so to get food. Thus, I would like to point out that Israelis ignored that difference and cancelled it from their brain…They insult us as Arabs, Christians and Muslims.
Mariana Tams, 11th grade
Al Ahliayyah College, Ramallah

People in Palestine want the Israeli people to hear the children of Palestine, to know how this affects them. They want to stop this massacre.
Saheer Musallam, 10th grade
Birzeit Latin Patriarchate School

I think this Holy Land is very religious, precious and holy, full of culture and tradition. In l948, our country was annexed to the state of Israel. I can’t believe how criminal and dangerous they were and they still are. They are killing our children without thinking.
Liza Ibrahim Sayeg, 10th grade
Birzeit Latin Patriarchate School

Jerusalem, the city of peace has turned into a point of struggle between Arabs and Israelis…during demonstrations Israeli security forces caused indiscriminate lethal force which killed hundreds of Palestinians many of whom were children under the age of 18.
Joline Fatouleh, 11th grade
Beit Jala Latin Patriarchate School

We now have more than 300 martyrs and more than 12,000 casualties because of Israeli gun shots and bombardment…I hope that they will stop killing my people. I feel very sorry about the situation in my homeland.
Laura Sayig, 10th grade
Birzeit Latin Patriarchate School

We wanted the real peace…a lot of houses were destroyed and a lot of families now are homeless living in shelters. We lost a lot but we intend to loose more in order to restore our country and to have our independent state and its capital Jerusalem.
Katie Hodaly, 11th grade
Beit Jala Latin Patriarchate School

Will the killing of innocent people end?…hundreds of Palestinians became martyrs in the hands of the cruel soldiers…young men and children are living in fear by hearing the sound of bullets or bombs that are shot at civilian houses, which is very frightening…I hope this cruelty will end as soon as possible.
Georgette Elias Saba Samaan, 11th grade
Beit Jala Latin Patriarchate School

The world saw the Israeli soldiers killing the children, using helicopters and tanks against unarmed people, and damaging houses and buildings. So most of the countries support our right to have an independent state, to have a peaceful life with security. I hope that peace will prevail and the Palestinians have their freedom.
Hana Abudayeh, 10th grade
Birzeit Latin Patriarchate School

I hope that they will stop killing children. Palestinian children have their rights to live free and to live a good life like other people and other kids all over the world.
Varenal Issa Jasser, 10th grade
Birzeit Latin Patriarchate School

The massacre brought sorrow to the Palestinian people, through the destruction of their houses and lands and the big fear that they faced in their hearts, let alone the materialism and economy and trade losses. It did not stop here only. They killed our children in a very criminal way…How do they kill those pure children? They kill them without mercy. They explode their faces and chests and snatch their lives by their mean weapons.
Meerna Jasser, 10th grade
Birzeit Latin Patriarchate School

The population in this Holy Land was living in peace until the Jews came to it and stole this peace. And got our land, houses, etc., certainly we resisted the Jews for over 53 years.
Rawan Jasser, 9th grade
Taybeh Latin Patriarchate School

I hope to live in peace without Jews and without weapons.

Juliana Basem Shadadeh, 10th grade
Birzeit Latin Patriarchate School

At the end, all the Palestinians and I want from the whole world is protection, to help us get rid of Israel. We want to live safely in our country and we want our rights.
Jenny Al Bahu, 9th grade
Beit Sahour Latin Patriarchate School