Love Your Enemy?
Astrid is a student studying teaching, but she is also a volunteer in a childrens cafe in Nørrebro in Copenhagen. She is a permanently homework helper for seven year old Khaled, who is Palestinian. She has never really shown any interest in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but an assault in the streets of Copenhagen brings the need to understand the situation better. However, it is little Khaled, who is the one to actually convince her to go to Palestine.
As part of a college project, she travels to Bethlehem, where she meets Ibrahim and Natalie, who are both Christian Palestinians. Quickly she becomes involved in the life story of Ibrahim, while Natalie seems to hide a secret. Astrid finds it easy to understand the Palestinian situation and does not immediately understand, that there is another side of the story; the Israeli side. She is one-sided in her view, until she meets both Taly and Mark in Israel.
Taly has all her furniture collected in the middle of the room, and she never sleeps the whole night through. She is an Israeli jew, but both her parents are Arabs. Mark is a soldier in the military, where he has shown reverence in serving his country for nearly five years. He does not care about the Arabs' right to exist in the land of Israel until that day, where a militant episode unexpectedly starts to change something inside of him. Astrid goes back home without any answers to what she thought she wanted answers to. Instead she goes back with the understanding of why the answers she was looking for do not exist.
'Love your enemy?' is a novel that aims to introduce light and shade into the human situation in Israel/Palestine by illuminating the conditions on both sides. Complexity of the conflict is highlighted by everyday situations and personal dilemmas. The story is fictional, but based on true events.
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