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Amani, the Girl from Rajar

Amela Einat
AGE: 6-10

This is a book about the hope for peace. The plot is set in Rajar, Israel`s northernmost village, which is located at the meeting-point of the borders of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Its inhabitants belong to the Alawi sect, most of whom live in Syria. Amani, the heroine of the story, was born in the back of a car because her parents were not permitted to reach the hospital. The day Amani`s mother went into labor, terrorists infiltrated the area and a curfew was imposed on the village. Although Hussein, the new father, was concerned and angry, he decided to name his firstborn daughter "Amani," which means "hope"in Arabic. Amani`s day-to-day life is tightly bound up with the extraordinary political reality in which her little village finds itself. Her father, the principal of the village school, married a Moslem woman from a village in central Israel because he was unable to find a suitable bride in Rajar. Siham, the mother, had dreams of becoming a teacher but was unable to fulfill them. She and her husband entertain hopes that their daughter Amani will acquire an education and fulfill her aspirations. Amani, a clever and curious girl, has hopes and aspirations of living in a better world, a world of peace and tranquillity. In such a world she would be able to meet her relatives - most of whom live across the Lebanese border -without fear, and paddle in the river where her father played as a boy, but is inaccessible today due to the security situation. She would even be able to visit the home of Yossi, the Israeli officer whose platoon is stationed near the village and with whom she has become friends. Amani can talk to Yossi in her own language since he learned Arabic at school. He promises Amani that one day he will come and take her down to the river she longs to see, but he is wounded and Amani is unable to visit him in hospital. Two years go by and Amani is already eight years old, but she has not stopped hoping for a better future. She dreams of becoming a pediatrician in a hospital that will be built on the border of the three countries - Israel, Syria and Lebanon.

Amani, the Girl from Rajar
Title Amani, the Girl from Rajar
Author’s Last Name Einat
Author's First Name Amela
Language(s) Arabic
Genre children
Publisher (Hebrew) Sifriat Poalim/ Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2003
No. Pages 47 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Amani - Ha-Yalda Mi-Rajar
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

Arabic: Haifa, Kolbo Sefarim, 2007

Stefa My Love: Or, One Meeting and Three Goodbyes
Polish: Warsaw, Nowy Świat, 2014
 
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