e-book People of the West Desert: Finding Common Ground

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Almost half of the zoo employees are Palestinian, and the facility actively solicits groups of religious Arab and Haredi Jewish schoolchildren, many of whom receive little science education and rarely interact with animals in the city. By offering discounted entry fees on the condition that the visiting school groups take free guides to animal conservation for later study, the zoo attracted 40, Palestinian and Haredi Jewish children last year. Relations between the zoo's Palestinian and Jewish staff reinforce its reputation as an island of sanity in a complicated reality.

Unlikely friendships have been struck—like that of Mahmoud, a Palestinian who started off as a zoo maintenance employee, and Haim, an Orthodox Jew whose family lives in West Bank settlements—and many Palestinians have come to occupy senior leadership positions. Its ongoing renovation has been funded largely by Israeli donations and spearheaded by the Biblical Zoo as an alternative for Palestinians unable to cross through checkpoints to visit Jerusalem.

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As befits the Biblical Zoo's tricky status as an Israeli institution in an often hostile Middle East, Palestinian and Jewish staff alike must grapple with a unique series of concerns. A griffon vulture raised at the zoo swiftly flew east after its release, and on landing was caught by Saudi Arabian villagers wary of its tag's Hebrew markings.

An intervention by a third party secured the bird's release after three days. Closer to home, a zoo sand cat set free in the desert south of Jerusalem strayed over the border into nearby Jordan and died, but its handlers were unable to recover it because they have not been able to develop ties with their regional wildlife counterparts.

Its secular administrators, who were forced some time ago to excise mentions of Darwinism in the zoo's exhibits, reworked a sign at its Australian exhibit after visitors kept defacing its description of the continent's separation from Asia many millions of years ago. It's much more important to address the illegal animal trade, bushmeat crisis, destruction of habitats, and conservation.

Finding Common Ground 2 - Tiya Miles

These are much more important issues than going into conflict in Jerusalem," he said. But after more than 20 years of nearly hassle-free coexistence since the zoo was reopened in , the wider conflict in the Middle East is beginning to hit home at the zoo.

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The murders of three Israeli teenagers just south of Jerusalem in early June, followed by the revenge killing of a Palestinian boy a few weeks later; the war in Gaza; and the presence of large groups of traumatized kids from southern Israel who come to the zoo daily as respite from Hamas rockets have deterred most Arab visitors. Abbadit is sometimes berated when Israeli visitors see his name. Among the Palestinians of the West Bank, who are divided by the Israeli security fence from their peers in East Jerusalem, there appears to be an even clearer consensus that Arabs and Jews ought not to work together.

Attitudes among both communities are hardening to an extent not seen during the first and second intifadas, when Palestinians in the late s and then in the early s engaged the Israeli military in a brutal series of uprisings.

People of the West Desert: Finding Common Ground

Even so, Doron is keen to champion the zoo's successes as a model for intercommunal cooperation. We're not isolated. Desert people -- Utah -- Pictorial works. Desert people -- Nevada -- Pictorial works. Summary "The West Desert is a term loosely applied by Utahns to the basin and range salt desert in the eastern Great Basin.

Finding Common Ground - Bridging Racial Divide | KCET

This arid region first caught the attention of photo documentarian and author Craig Denton when voices from it spoke out against the proposal to turn over large desert valleys to roving MX missiles. Intrigued by the region, its people, and their choices, Denton began documenting who they were, why they were there, and how they lived.


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Contents I. The Land. Communities of the West Desert. Community Institutions. Education: The Soul of the West Desert.

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Community Activism. Community Centering IV. Creation of Community. Maintenance of Community. Extensions of Community.

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Threats to Community. Notes Includes bibliographical references p. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links None of your libraries hold this item.


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