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The Kites are Flying...Hope in Palestine

The news of the horrors going on in Gaza at the moment had got me down.

In the library I noticed that children were all picking up ‘Palestine’ by Joe Sacco, I assume in a bid to try and understand the news that is being bombarded at them.


In moments of despair, it’s only natural to look for signs of hope.

I searched the shelves for a book that I knew we had.

It was a bid to prepare myself for the conversations that often crop up in the library around situations like these. But really it was a book I needed to reread. I needed something to pull me out of the despair, the hopelessness and the helplessness that I was feeling.

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There it was, shelved under ‘M’…. @michealmorpugo ‘s THE KITES ARE FLYING.


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When Max, a journalist travels to the West Bank to witness and document the life of the Palestinians and Jews who live in the shadow of a dividing wall, he develops a special friendship with a Palestinian boy, Said, who is most taken with his camera. An accident leads Max to Said’s home where he is welcomed as a guest. Over a few days, he learns of the terrible events that have happened to Said’s family, in the past and he slowly begins to understand why Said no longer speaks.

Yet, he is curious about the kites that said insists on making and flying over the wall if possible. Kites with one word written across them…Salaam.

Narrated in alternating voices of Max and Said, this book highlights the tragedy of war… it does however also end on a note of hope….a beautiful hope that the children on both sides of the war express, the hope for peace.

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The afterword tells us that Palestinian children like Said and Mahmoud really do fly kites….made out of newspapers, old plastic bags and bits of wood.


I hope the library can help children understand why the conflict exists, often don’t stop and to understand what it may be to be a person caught up in a conflict like this.

Yet, even though it is the very worst time in the lives of these people, there are often signs of hope that keep them keeping on.

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Here it is the kites and the words Salaam and Shalom.


May the children of Palestine and Israel find hope in this time.

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