The conflict in my homeland must seem very far away. In America, you hear about the deaths of Palestinians as though they are mere statistics, but they are people, each as real and close to me as your own friends and family are to you. You see, we are not so different, you and I. Other than the ever-present danger that I may die at any moment.

I love sports, just as you do, although we favor football—what you call soccer—over baseball or basketball. Of course, being out in any open space for too long is just begging for me and my friends to be blown to pieces by an Israeli missile, which is another difference between you and I. We also play rugby.

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Do you love food? I love food! Most days, I accompany my mother to the local marketplace, which is not unlike your grocery stores. They are somewhat unlike your grocery stores in the sense that, at literally any instant, my tiny body could be shredded by a car packed with explosives, and you also must haggle to get a fair price, which I understand is not part of American culture.

…being out in any open space for too long is just begging for me and my friends to be blown to pieces by an Israeli missile…

Although we’re half a world away, our similarities far outnumber our differences. Just like in America, families gather around the television in the evening for their favorite talk shows and singing competitions, knowing that their entire building could be destroyed at the push of a button. Distracted teenagers (just like yours!) pore over Facebook for gossip about who is dating who and which of their friends have recently been dismembered.

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Other than the very real possibility that every breath may be my last, we are much the same, you and I. The next time you feel hopeless about one day achieving peace in Palestine, remember: Our differences cannot be so great when there is a person so very much like yourself living there.

For now.