Please explain why it is appropriate to teach Samir and Yonatan by Daniella Carmi.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From the most fundamental of point of views, Samir and Yonatan is important to teach because it humanizes the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.  In any political struggle that has deep roots, it is easy for students to lose sight of the human stories that are present.  The terms like "settlements, "West Bank," "political self- rule" are very clinical and sterile concepts for the young adolescent.  Samir and Yonatan make these ideas as personal as possible in setting them amongst the lives of children in the disputed territories.  The very idea that Samir and Yonatan can escape from their current political and social difficulties when they learn to emotionally transcend them is a powerful message.  Kids can begin to partake in a dialogue of pain, forgiveness, anger, and transcendence through works like Carmi's.  It is relevant and appropriate to teach kids the power of constructive dialogue.  In a world where polarizing monologues and silencing of voices is so much a part of the historical discourse, reading literature that emphasizes solidarity and presents a case of what can be as opposed to what is can be transformative and highly meaningful to students seeking to understand a battle that is not theirs, but one they have inherited.

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