Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ramzy Baroud, "Marathon for children: Running for the right to play," Palestine Chronicle, September 25, 2008.

  The bond that grew between me and the flipping monkey was legendary. I often checked on him, tucked neatly into a drawer in my mom’s closet following every Israeli raid.

I was ecstatic as I read an email sent by a manager at a Canadian toy company. The company donates a large number of toys each year to inner city kids throughout North America, using various NGOs. A few years ago, they decided to ship several thousand toys to Palestinian children. They asked for my help.

The feeling of joy that I felt that day was unparalleled. Rarely do I experience in my job as a writer, whose main focus is war and conflict, this overpowering sense of elation. I had to tell someone that 11,000 toys would be shipped to Palestinian refugee camps before the Muslim holiday. This will certainly be a memorable Eid for so many children denied the simple pleasure of holding a teddy bear, or watching a toy police car running in circles with blazing sirens. My friend, Mohammed, a reporter from Egypt, however, was not very impressed.

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Please visit this link and contribute. You can also join us, or run your own race to raise awareness and funds for Palestinian children and Playgrounds for Palestine. Palestinian children deserve more than words of sympathy. They deserve their childhood back.

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