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Arna’s Children documentary

March 29, 2012

I had heard about this film, it was recommended to me when people found out I was moving to the Middle East. I thought it was about a woman who helped Palestinian children by giving them a creative output for their anger and discouraging violence, after all her theatre was funded in part by an alternative to the Swiss Nobel Prize. Sadly, within the first fifteen minutes I saw that not only did it not discourage violence as means to release anger, it actually encouraged it. While I understand and completely sympathise with the children, I do not agree with the encouragement of the use of violence. In their acting and in their words, the children are taught to hate and to act on their anger with physical assaults. Instead of teaching them to learn to communicate their feelings with nonviolent communication, they are taught that it is ok to attack, that two wrongs to make a right. It is no wonder that with this sort of education, this generation of children has grown up to continue the attacks on Israel. If this violence is ever going to end, then children and adults need to be taught how to communicate effectively with words and not with violence. They need to stop being taught how to hate and to stop being told how the other side is wrong and is the aggressor. Both sides are wrong and both sides need to work to end the violence.

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