December 31, 2009
A Mideast Bond, Stitched of Pain and Healing
Angela Elizarov taught her son, Orel, the alphabet this month. Orel, 8, lost half his brain in a Hamas missile strike in Beersheba.
He can be impulsive. She has a touch of bossiness. Next-door neighbors for nearly a year, they talk, watch television and explore the world together, wandering into each other’s homes without a second thought. She likes his mother’s eggplant dish. He likes her father’s rice and lamb.
Marya, a Palestinian, and Orel, an Israeli, are 8-year-old neighbors at Jerusalem’s Alyn Hospital.
Friendship often starts with proximity, but Orel and Marya, both 8, have been thrust together in a way few elsewhere have. Their playground is a hospital corridor. He is an Israeli Jew severely wounded by a Hamas rocket. She is a Palestinian Muslim from Gaza paralyzed by an Israeli missile. Someone forgot to tell them that they are enemies.
Read the full story at NYTimes.com.