I gave a call to Ahmed Hemeid, producer of our most recent episode, right before his Biology class started at the United World College in New Mexico. That's a picture of him above, carrying his country's flag at a UWC Welcoming Ceremony.
Our conversation happened Thursday morning, right after we learned that the Israeli Defense Forces were re-starting airstrikes in Gaza in response to a retaliatory Hamas rocket launch at school bus that injured to Israelis. Now, since our conversation and as of this posting, 10 Palestinian civilians have been killed in these strikes.
It's difficult to find reasons to be hopeful. Since the first Intifada in the 1980s, the wars in Israel and the Palestnian territories of Gaza and the West Bank have been a back and forth volley of violence. But Ahmed says leaving his home has changed some of his perceptions. He had never talked to an Israeli who was not a soldier at a checkpoint. And the Israelis he has met at school had never talked to a Palestinian. Here Ahmed's positive messages of change and his stories of growing up in a country that is not quite a country.