A U.S. grad student in anthropology describes life in the West
Bank town of Ramallah. In this chilling account of living in a
war-ravaged city, she shows how people manage to function and
Lori Allen says that she mainly focuses on three activities: listening to the death toll on the news, tracking a friend near Bethlehem and e-mailing the same friend after the phone goes dead to confirm that he's still alive.
Every time she writes friends and loved ones in the states, they tell her to leave, to get out. 'But that is impossible,' she writes in CounterPunch, a bi-weekly muckraking newsletter. 'Leave my friends to tread these troubled waters alone, leave these tragedies unwitnessed, unrecorded, because I am the lucky holder of a U.S. passport, the golden document, the get-out-of-jail-free card, pass go if you feel like it, avoid it if you don't?'
Even though part of her story addresses the propensity for emotional overload, she also reveals how she manages to balance the intensity with friends and escapist activities.
--Sara V. Buckwitz