The Boy and the Wall (2005)is a bilingual children’s book that tells the story of a Palestinian refugee boy who loves to play soccer, find turtles, and pick flowers. But the joy of being a child is overshadowed by the huge wall being built through his land. What can a little boy do to escape the wall? Turn into a great fig tree whose roots will break the wall? Dance until the wall crumbles?
The Boy and the Wallis a story about how the separation wall has affected the lives of the people living in Aida Refugee Camp and an imaginative reflection of a child’s response to the wall.About 5000 Palestinian refugees live in Aida, near the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank. More than half of the residents of the Aida are children. Their families have been living in the camp since they were pushed out of their villages when the state of Israel was created in 1948. The refugees are still not allowed to return to their lands. In 2004, Israel began building the concrete wall only a few meters from the houses of the camp. The wall intensified Israel’s military presence in the camp and exacerbated already high levels of unemployment. The Boy and the Wall,written by Amahl Bishara and illustrated with collages made by Lajee youth, is the winner of the Psychologists for Social Responsibility’s Josephine “Scout” Wollman Fuller Award, 2008.