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What is the issue?
How does conflict affect real people?
Raneen Qumsieh (left) and Mariam Syriani (right) live in Bethlehem in the West Bank.
Many children in the Holy Land have acutely felt the impact of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Having lost friends and family members due to the violence, and growing up in a constant state of insecurity and tension, these children often experience hopelessness and frustration.
Fortunately for them, Raneen and Mariam are part of a CRS program that engages students and their parents in coming up with their own solutions to issues affecting their communities.
Efforts such as these are an important step toward establishing a viable Palestinian state and ultimately securing long-term peace and stability through a two-state solution.
But many children in conflict situations have no access to such opportunities. Instead, they often live in squalid, overflowing refugee camps, witness or are the victims of abuse, receive little education, and learn anger and hatred that persists for years after a conflict ends.