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Friday, February 3, 2012

pen pals... not just for kids

I have written a few times about starting some kind of activism that involves Americans and Palestinians talking...

I'll repost the second half of this fair trade post here, since I should have separated them in the first place:

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I'm not exactly the go-getter type, but I think from time to time about stuff like this or getting something going. Petitioning the government is certainly (or seems so) one way to influence policy, but if Americans are talking to Palestinians and start to see them as people with perhaps more in common with themselves than they think (rather than The Others, terrorists, etc), maybe this will make people re-think the "Israel's way or the highway" mentality that holds us captive and causes common sense to escape us.

Here goes:
I have heard of (and have been inspired by) various efforts lately to aid Palestine like Galloway's convoy, Kite Gang (NPR), Gaza Surf Relief, etc:,
(edit 7/2009- A convoy actually left the US on July 4 and went to Gaza July 13)
( ), , ,

various programs among elementary students/schools from the US and Palestine exchanging letters, pictures, goodies, etc (why don't cities or peace groups in the two areas do the same sorts of things?)
*Facebook comments about Flat Stanleys around that time kind of re-inspired that one. I thought- what if Flat Stanley went to a Free Gaza event or protest...

and even (go figure!)

And with that, I'm all brainstormed out. Maybe something will come of it one day. If not from me, then from someone reading this. I feel less cluttered having put all this on "paper", so I guess I've accomplished something.

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And recently, I signed up with postcrossing, which is really cool, but you just can't choose what country you write to (though I wouldn't want to change the randomness of that particular site). It is kind of the thing I had envisioned finding or starting for US-Palestine.

There are programs for student pen pals on this site: , that I linked to in my BDS post.

And I found this one, Pen Pals for Peace, for students as well:

This one sounds great, but I do believe it's only for students.

I had wanted my chapter of Al-Awda or other group to maybe start a subgroup that would write (men to men, women to women) letters and postcards (actual, not electronic) to tell about life, news, and whatever else in their country (Palestine- US exchange).

If that worked, I had wanted to try and get people who don't know or think much about the conflict on a daily basis involved for the educational and outreach experience. People in the US sometimes just buy into the "Israel is always right" (or Arabs are always wrong) line of thinking simply because they don't hear anyone or anything challenging that and causing them to evaluate it.

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