The West Bank: Life Under Occupation

The West Bank: Life Under Occupation

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
protect hope.

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
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