So. Georgia Palestinian speaks out on war - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

So. Georgia Palestinian speaks out on war

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March 19, 2003

Valdosta - Baha Zeidan has spent the past five years living in South Georgia, but grew up in the West Bank of Palestine. His family still lives there and are exposed to a daily routine of violence and abuse.

"You can't find a single Palestinian who hasn't seen people and homes being bombed, or shootings out in the street as you walk to school," said Zeidan.

While the world is focused on a war with Iraq, Zeidan says the daily struggles of Palestinians are often ignored. "It's not odd to go shopping, or just be sitting in your house and hear bombs going off," said Zeidan.

Zeidan is opposed to a war with Iraq and believes it will cause more problems in his homeland. "The media attention is shifting over there and I'm scared the Israelis will take advantage of that and hurt us even more," said Zeidan. "The world tends to ignore the war we have going on every day over there."

Zeidan says not all Palestinians are against the United States, but they do believe our country could do more to protect theirs. "We know Israel is doing the bombing, but the U.S. is providing the tool," said Zeidan. "With the United States' help, I believe our country could be a safer place to live."

Although he enjoys living in the United States, Zeidan longs to go back to Palestine and has high hopes for his homeland. "Freedom is the beautiful thing about this country and I pray one day we'll have that beauty in Palestine."

That may take several years, but he's confident he'll one day return home to a safe and peaceful country.

posted at 2:45 by ashley.harper@walb.com