Cover image for We just want to live here : a Palestinian teenager, an Israeli teenager : an unlikely friendship
We just want to live here : a Palestinian teenager, an Israeli teenager : an unlikely friendship
Rifa'i, Amal.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, [2003]

Physical Description:
xx, 154 pages : maps ; 18 cm
Reading Level:
920 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.7 7.0 72770.

Reading Counts RC High School 5.9 11 Quiz: 37215 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS119.7 .R497 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Palestinian Amal Rifa'i and Israeli Odelia Ainbinder are two teenage girls who live in the same city, yet worlds apart. They met on a student exchange program to Switzerland. Weeks after they returned, the latest, violent Intifada broke out in the fall of 2000.

But two years later, Middle East correspondent Sylke Tempel encouraged Amal and Odelia to develop their friendship by facilitating an exchange of their deepest feelings through letters. In their letters, Amal and Odelia 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, in We Just Want To Live Here.

Author Notes

Amal Rifa'i , an eighteen-year-old Palestinian, plans to study special education in an Israeli college.

Odelia Ainbinder , an eighteen-year-old Israeli, has started a year of community service with a socialist-Zionist movement. She will soon begin her mandatory military service.

Sylke Tempel , is a Middle East correspondent reporting from Israel. She teaches at the Berlin branch of Stanford University.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The two authors, now 18, met in Switzerland during an exchange program in 2000, and returned to a Jerusalem soon gripped by the second intifada. After falling out of touch, they exchanged the letters collected in this book from August to November of 2002, cycling through anguish, accusation, artifice, allowance, appreciation-all of the beginnings of real friendship. The book proves to be that rarest of contexts-a place for young women of the Middle East to discuss politics with openness and mutual respect. 6 maps. (Sept. 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved