Return to the Statistics (home) page Learn more about us. If Americans Knew: what every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine
Statistics History Current Situation US Interests Media Analysis About Us
Top Border

printer symbolPrint Article
letter symbolEmail this Page


First-Hand Reports from Israel/Palestine

Mabrook, Ala’a

In mid-July students all over Palestine get the results of the tawjihi, the final examination of their senior year. Celebrations abound for those who pass. Friends and family visit the successful graduates to say “Mabrook!” (Congratulations). Dianne Roe met Ala’a Al Ja’abari, one such graduate, last week and sends him this note of congratulations.

Dianne Roe
Christian Peacemaker Team
Hebron, West Bank, Palestine
July 27, 2004

It was a joy to see your smiling face when you handed me the report of your examination. Mabrook! I know it has not been easy.

I remember your Freshman year in the fall of 2000. You had to make your way past clashes at Bab iZaweyya amidst stone throwing and shooting to get to and from your school. Then the Israeli soldiers declared a curfew and would not let you leave your house. Sometimes you had to stay overnight in another part of town just to go to school.

While you were gone, Israeli settlers vandalized your house and took many things. I remember the day your family moved back to protect your house. Then toward the end of your Sophomore year, Israeli soldiers reentered Hebron and placed the whole city under curfew. Your school was closed, but still you persisted in your studies and awaited school’s reopening.

In your junior year I tried to visit your family but the soldiers prevented me. I stood near the checkpoint, looked up at the broken windows of your neighbor, Um Abdullah, as she begged the soldiers to let her have visitors, but to no avail. I know how difficult those times were for you but you were always smiling.

Curfew was lifted for most of your final year, but you had to pass by Israeli military checkpoints to get to and from school. I know how embarrassed you were last April when the soldiers kicked your legs apart and frisked you. You said to me, “Don’t worry, this is our life. I will be OK. This happens almost every day.” You were returning to your home after a study session for your exams. You smiled at me to appease my worries.

So now, Ala’a, we pray for the future and a time of peace. We at CPT admire your courage. We know you wish to be at peace with everyone and that you will work for that. We know Israeli students who will work for the same thing and we pray for continued success. It has been an honor for us to know you. “Mabrook!” from Dianne and the rest of the team at CPT.

Read more first-hand reports.

Back to topBack to Top

printer symbolPrint Article

letter symbolEmail this Page

Videos & Multimedia

Amnesty International Video:
Dina Goor, Yesh Din

Video – Soldiers Force a Palestinian to Play Violin at Roadblock

Related Articles

The Last Casualty?

Palestinian child deaths in conflict with Israel already nearly double that of 2005

Israeli officer: I was right to shoot 13-year-old child

Palestinian Children and the Second Intifada

Don’t shoot till you can see they’re over the age of 12

More Articles on Children

A Dangerous Journey: Settler Violence Against Palestinian Schoolchildren Under Israeli Military Escort

I Want to Keep my Wife!

Death in a Cemetery

UNRWA Suspends Emergency Food Aid

Social, Economic and Political Status of Arab Citizens of Israel

More Articles on Family Life

Additional Resources

Poster – $top Funding Israeli Oppression of Palestinian Children

Flyer – $top Funding Israeli Oppression of Palestinian Children

Save the Children

Book – Stolen Youth: The Politics of Israel’s Detention of Palestinian Children

Chart – Attacks on Schools

Amnesty International – Killing the Future

Save the Children – The Education of Children At Risk

Booklet – Do Palestinians Teach Their Children to Hate?

Amnesty International – Torn Apart: Families Split by Discriminatory Policies

Amnesty International – Law Quashes the Right of Israeli Arab Citizens to Family Life

Electronic Intifada – Prison Experience as a Normal Part of Life


Defence for Children International, Palestine

Remember These Children

Children of Shatila

Stay Informed

Sign up for our mailing list and receive an email whenever we post a new article on our news site, Israel-Palestine News.

If Americans Knew distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material, sometimes without the permission of the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law since it is being distributed without profit for purely educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

This website is printer-friendly. Please Print this article and share it with your friends and family.