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Gaza and West Virginia Have More in Common Than You May Think

gaza_kids.jpg
Credit Rick Wilson
Kids in Gaza

A deep love of their homeplace, resourcefulness, and deep faith - West Virginians and people in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel share a lot.

Front Porch contributor Rick Wilson just returned from a visit to Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, and he says he’s struck by both the obvious differences and the similarities in culture.

“In West Virginia, we have space. We have green…We have this love of the open road,” Wilson said. “For a lot of people there, it’s borders and checkpoints. That feeling of being confined, it really struck me.”

The population of Gaza and West Virginia is roughly the same – 1.8 million people. But in Gaza, they live in just 140 sq. miles, compared to 24,000 sq. miles in West Virginia.

But hillbillies and Palestinians share one trait, Wilson said.

“A big word for Palestinians is ‘Steadfastness’  -- this effort to try to hold onto the land and try not to be displaced."

Wilson says Israelis are rightfully afraid for their security and there is no easy path to peace. He says it starts with more personal connections between people on both sides of the fence.

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Credit Scott Finn
Rick literally extends the olive branch to Laurie.

Read more from Rick's blog, The Goat Rope, here: http://goatrope.blogspot.com/

Subscribe to "The Front Porch" podcast on iTunes or however you listen to podcasts.

An edited version of “The Front Porch” airs Fridays at 4:50 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s radio network, and the full version is available above.

Share your opinions with us about these issues, and let us know what you'd like us to discuss in the future. Send a tweet to @radiofinn or @wvpublicnews, or e-mail Scott at sfinn @ wvpublic.org


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