Palestinian Amal Rifa'i and Israeli Odelia Ainbinder are two teenage girls who live in the same city, yet worlds apart. They met on a student exchange program to Switzerland. Weeks after they returned, the latest, violent Intifada broke out in the fall of 2000.
But two years later, Middle East correspondent Sylke Tempel encouraged Amal and Odelia to develop their friendship by facilitating an exchange of their deepest feelings through letters. In their letters, Amal and Odelia discuss the Intifada, their families, traditions, suicide bombers, and military service. They write frankly of their anger, frustrations, and fear, but also of their hopes and dreams for a brighter future.
Together, Amal and Odelia give us a renewed sense of hope for peace in the Middle East, in We Just Want To Live Here.
Amal Rifa'i, an eighteen-year-old Palestinian, plans to study special education in an Israeli college.
Odelia Ainbinder, an eighteen-year-old Israeli, has started a year of community service with a socialist-Zionist movement. She will soon begin her mandatory military service.
Sylke Tempel, is a Middle East correspondent reporting from Israel. She teaches at the Berlin branch of Stanford University