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Gili – 8 Years Old in Jerusalem

I am in grade 3. My best subject is art. I love to draw, especially horses.

I hear a lot about the war. I’m eight, which is not too young to know about war and bombs. We have guards at our school to keep the Palestinians from blowing us up. One of the guards there was killed by a bomb. He wasn’t killed at our school, but somewhere else. I was very sad when I heard about it. I was afraid, too. Guards are supposed to protect us, but he couldn’t protect himself. If a bomb can kill a guard, it can also kill me or my family.

There is always a lot of talk about war. I have my own gas mask. All the kids at school have one. That way we can still breathe if someone drops gas on us. There should be gas masks for horses too.

I don’t like to think about the war. I like to think about horses. I don’t want to hurt anybody, and I don’t want anybody to hurt me. I just want to ride horses. I don’t know if there are any Palestinian girls who love horses as much as I do. I don’t know any Palestinian girls.

Sometimes a long time can go by when I can forget about the war. I have a very nice life, and I can laugh and be with my friends, and then it is like there is no war. Then something happens, like another bus blowing up, and I have to think about it again.

I think about God sometimes. I know God exists. I can feel it, and I know everything will be all right.


NOTE: Gili's words are from an interview he had with Deborah Ellis in the book Three Wishes (Israeli and Palestinian Children)