Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What do PalArab kids want for 'Eid? Toy guns!

In a culture that worships violence, in a place where killers are lionized, in an area where manlihood is defined by murder and mayhem - is it any wonder that the next generation is growing up so dysfunctionally?

It is the plastic toy gun season again. Eid Al-Adha brings the money and the children rush to the shops to purchase the gun they have had picked out for months. But these are not just any guns. Born, and being raised, under military occupation is rearing a generation of sophisticates in the weapons business. (Notice that the author doesn't mention the fact that there are terrorists with guns and rockets on every street corner, and tries to blame the PalArab love of guns on "occupation". -EoZ)

Omar is a child from the northern West Bank's Nablus. He chose a plastic M16 for 150 shekels collected from his uncles for Eid Al-Adha. His sister chose the same.

Mohammed Salah Abu Wardeh from Nablus' Balata Refugee Camp chose a Kalashinkov, designed to resemble the real thing. The name is emblazoned on its side and although his mother told him that just two days ago the neighbor children were injured playing with toy guns, he bought it anyway.(Does this mean that these "toy guns" shoot BBs or the like? No matter! - EoZ)

The plastic guns are omnipresent in camps, villages, towns and cities on holidays. In the northern West Bank's town of Assira Al-Shamaliya the football field becomes a military theatre. Yousuf Al-Sawalhi, a student at Nablus' Al-Najah University, said that every young child carries a plastic weapon on the first day of Eid.

Hussein Kamel is a school counselor in Nablus and says that the phenomenon is linked to the political situation and the news children watch everyday, on the television and in front of their homes and schools. Kamel says that he is concerned that the new generation will grow up violent after seeing nothing but suffering and playing nothing but death.

Notice that the parents are the ones buying these toy weapons for their children. But the word "responsibility" does not seem to translate to Arabic very well.