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Only in Heaven are there no Checkpoints

Only in Heaven are there no Checkpoints

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Published by Toine Van Teeffelen
The retold diary of Yara, a child from Bethlehem.
This little book describes the events in Bethlehem, Palestine, during the period of the second Intifada, from October 2000 until the end of 2005. Most of it is written through the eyes and the mind of a girl, our daughter Yara, who at the time was between 3 and 8 years old.

Published by the Arab Eductaional Institute in Bethlehem, 2011.
The retold diary of Yara, a child from Bethlehem.
This little book describes the events in Bethlehem, Palestine, during the period of the second Intifada, from October 2000 until the end of 2005. Most of it is written through the eyes and the mind of a girl, our daughter Yara, who at the time was between 3 and 8 years old.

Published by the Arab Eductaional Institute in Bethlehem, 2011.

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Published by: Toine Van Teeffelen on Aug 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Only in heaven are there no checkpoints
The retold diary of Yara, a child from Bethlehem
1
 
PREFACE
This little book describes the events in Bethlehem, Palestine, during the period of the second Intifada, from October 2000 until the end of 2005. Most of it is writtenthrough the eyes and the mind of a girl, our daughter Yara, who at the time wasbetween 3 and 8 years old.The text is of course not Yara’s. Over the period mentioned, Toine kept diarynotes of all that happened in the family, including the reactions of Yara and thoseof our baby boy, Tamer. Yara’s diary was written on the basis of those reactions.The text tries to remain as close as possible to Yara’s world, and contains manyexpressions she used. However it should be kept in mind that the text is only anattempt to approach a part of the life world of a child living through a politicalcrisis. It is well known in psychology that although children do not have thecapacity to think in very abstract adult ways, the complexity of their thoughts,emotions and sensory expressions is far more evolved than what adults –including parents - would ever suspect.Some parts of the text have already been previously published in: Toine vanTeeffelen, Bethlehem Diary: Living under Occupation 2000-2002, ArabEducational Institute, Bethlehem, 2002 (preface by Mgr Michel Sabbah), and, inDutch, Dagboek Betlehem: 2000-2004 [Bethlehem Diary: 2000-2004], De Stiel,Nijmegen, 2004.Yara read the text and gave her own comments which have been incorporated.We are grateful to Richard Howard for linguistically correcting the text. Richard isa family member, with a Masters in Clinical Psychology, currently working as aprofessor of advanced English exam preparation for the Paris Graduate Schoolof Management (PGSM).The photos were made available by family and friends.Toine van TeeffelenMary van Teeffelen-MorcosBethlehem, July 2011
2
 
PROLOGUE: A CHRISTMAS LETTER TO MY UNBORN CHILD
Some time ago your mother, who is now carrying you in your belly, had afantasy. She thought it would be nice if there was a little panel which she couldopen to have a brief peek at you. This was so she could see whether everythingwas fine, and what the color of your hair would be. Then she would be satisfiedand keep the door locked until you were born.It is now my wish to put a little Christmas card through that opening. Why? Likeyour mom, to say “Hi,” and to tell you that you will enter the world in anuncommon place – Bethlehem – a little town with a famous past and acomplicated present. A town that evokes dreams and wishes, but also a towngrasping towards the year 2000 in a yet unborn nation undergoing difficult labor pains.What are my Christmas wishes? Well, I don’t have any big wishes or exigencies,so you can relax. I don’t prefer that you to be a boy or a girl. I don’t wish you tobe Dutch or Palestinian. I don’t prefer that you stay in Bethlehem or go to liveelsewhere. Nor do I mind whether you will love books, music or beautiful designs.Your mother and I hope to follow the advice of Khalil Jibran who tells parents totreat their children in the following way: “Give them your love but not your thoughts.”Yet, I admit that I do have a few small wishes. I hope you will be equally open tothe richness of the inner world of imagination as to the world of external reality;listening to many fairy tales and not just stories about the physical world we livein. I wish that you will laugh a lot, experiencing the warmth of Palestinian cultureas well as the sobriety [
nuchterheid 
] of Dutch culture.I wish that you will not be bothered by traffic, soldiers and noise. I wish that youwill have the chance to see the beauty of nature rather than the ugliness of waste. I wish that you will not be closed up by the closure, and that you will beable to go in all directions to see Palestine, Holland and the rest of the worldworld.
I wish to seeand hear you soon
Your father December 19, 1997Yara was born on December 21, 1997 in the Holy Family hospital in Bethlehem.
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