"We read to know we are not alone," novelist C.S. Lewis said about stories and books.
     As Palestinians and Israelis -- Muslims, Christians and Jews -- build relationships a step at a time, this reminds us we're not alone but part of a growing wave of responsible citizens.
     This is about a book that matters.
     It is about "We Just Want to Live Here: A Palestinian Teenager, an Israeli Teenager -- An Unlikely Friendship."
     It's a helpful book for students of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship..

     Palestinian Amal Rifa'i and Israeli Odelia Ainbinder are two teenage girls who live in the same city, yet worlds apart.
     They first met on summer 2000 student exchange program to Switzerland.
     Weeks after they returned, the new, violent Intifada broke out September 29, 2000.
     They lost contact.
     But two years later, Middle East correspondent Sylke Tempel encouraged the young women to develop their friendship.
     Amal and Odelia exchanged their deepest feelings through letters from August to November, 2002.
     In their letters, they discuss the Intifada, their families, traditions, suicide bombers, and military service.
     They write frankly of their anger, frustrations, and fear, but also of their hopes and dreams for a brighter future.
     Together, Amal and Odelia give us a renewed sense of hope for peace in the Middle East.

      Another author describes this book:
     "Profoundly moving....The conflict between Jews and Arabs has been described in countless books and argued in unending polemics, but here, in the letters between these two eighteen-year-old women, an Arab and a Jew, is the heartbreaking essence of the quarrel.... In these letters (an idea brilliantly conceived and carried through by Sylke Tempel) Amal and Odelia educate each other..... This is the book for anyone who wants to feel and understand the emotions on both sides. It will become a classic."

Read a review
at TeenReads.com and order the book at http://www.teenreads.com/reviews/0312318944.asp .

We Just Want to Live Here
Amal Rifa'i, Odelia Ainbinder
St. Martin's Press
Biography / Autobiography
154 pages
5" x 7"
ISBN 0312318944