Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Palestinian children sing for Holocaust survivors

I just thought this was a nice story.

The truth is it shouldn't be so unusual as to be newsworthy. The story was originally published by AP, and has been pick up by hundreds of news sites around the world. Some of the more interesting quotes:

... the youths had no idea they were performing for people who lived through Nazi genocide — or even what the Holocaust was. "I feel sympathy for them," Ali Zeid, an 18-year-old keyboard player who said he was shocked by what he learned about the Holocaust, in which the Nazis killed 6 million Jews in their campaign to wipe out European Jewry.

"Only people who have been through suffering understand each other," said Zeid, who said his grandparents were Palestinian refugees forced to flee the northern city of Haifa during the war that followed Israel's creation in 1948.

As a host announced in Hebrew that the youths were from the Jenin refugee camp, there were gasps and muttering from the crowd. "Jenin?" one woman asked in jaw-dropped surprise.

Younis, from the Arab village of Ara in Israel, then explained in fluent Hebrew that the youths would sing for peace, prompting the audience to burst into applause.

"Inshallah," said Sarah Glickman, 68, using the Arabic term for "God willing."

... Glickman, whose family moved to the newly created Jewish state in 1949 after fleeing to Siberia to escape the Nazis, said she had no illusions the encounter would make the children understand the Holocaust. But she said it might make a "small difference."

"They think we are strangers, because we came from abroad," Glickman said. "I agree: It's their land, also. But there was no other option for us after the Holocaust."


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