• National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah is a cultural educator working to build relationships between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. In this series of four eight-minute videos, Abu Sarah meets with people from both sides of the conflict in order to better understand and communicate how this international dispute impacts their everyday lives.

    Please watch these videos in order. Each presents a different perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "In the conflict zone," Abu Sarah says, "everything depends on which side you are on."

    Video 1: Uneasy Coexistance
    For Israelis and Palestinians trying to lead an ordinary life, the complications of living in a conflict zone can be extraordinary. Aziz Abu Sarah meets with people from both sides to understand how this conflict impacts their daily lives.

    Video 2: Israel Defense Forces
    For most Israelis, military service is mandatory. Aziz Abu Sarah meets with some of the young people who form the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces, and rides along as they encounter protesters from the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh.

    Video 3: Palestinian Protesters
    Throughout the West Bank, Israeli settlements and Palestinian villages co-exist in close proximity. Conflict over resources ensue, and can turn deadly. Aziz Abu Sarah takes a look at one such conflict, between the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh and Israeli settlement of Halamish. In this report, he embeds with Palestinian protesters as they clash with Israeli soldiers.

    Video 4: A Space to Talk
    A soccer game may not necessarily lead to peace in the Middle East, but you have to start somewhere, so why not with soccer? Aziz Abu Sarah's goal is to create opportunities for dialogue among people that are on opposing sides of a conflict. The hope is that if each side sees the other as human beings, they are less likely to support one another’s destruction. Could a soccer game among mixed teams of Israeli and Palestinian boys help?

    For more information and discussion questions on Aziz Abu Sarah and these videos, please read this March 2013 blog post.

    1. Aziz Abu Sarah interacts with people on both sides of the “conflict zone.” What methods does Abu Sarah use that allow him to talk to people on both sides of the issue?

      Abu Sarah uses non-judgmental language, doesn’t yell or scold, allows people to speak for themselves, doesn’t interrupt, and he doesn’t get angry.

    2. In the second video, as Abu Sarah talks with members of the IDF and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank, they both identify a resource—not a religion or ideology—as the source of conflict. What is this resource?

      A natural spring that lies between the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh and the Israeli settlement of Halamish.

    3. Abu Sarah briefly unites a group of Israeli and Palestinian boys through a game of soccer. Are there common interests besides sports that may bring two sides of a conflict together?

      People on both sides of a conflict may share an interest in science, art, music, food, nature, business, etc.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    air strike Noun

    bombing of a site by aircraft.

    conflict Noun

    a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

    displace Verb

    to remove or force to evacuate.

    Gaza Strip Noun

    self-governing Palestinian territory in Israel located on Israel's southwestern coast and bordering Egypt.

    intifada Noun

    revolt by Palestinians against Israeli rule.

    Palestine Noun

    region in the Middle East now occupied by Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

    protest noun, verb

    demonstration against a policy or action.

    refugee Noun

    person who flees their home, usually due to natural disaster or political upheaval.

    refugee camp Noun

    temporary shelters built for immigrants who have fled their homes due to environmental or social conflict.

    settlement Noun

    community or village.

    tear gas Noun

    aerosol gas that causes extreme irritation of the eyes, leading to tears and sometimes vomiting. Also called CS gas.

    West Bank Noun

    self-governing Palestinian territory in Israel, located in a large area of central Israel, including the west bank of the Jordan River.

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