Category Archives: digitalphoto

using the web to teach tolerance

Teachers brave enough to tackle incredibly complex and sensitive issues, like the Arab-Israli conflict, may find some useful material on Eye to Eye. The site describes the conditions in refugee camps through the eyes of Palestinian children. The project was carried out by “Save the Children UK,” which conducts photo workshops for children in the camps and publishes the resulting photographs on the Eye to Eye site. While the site does not offer a comprehensive history of the situation, it does provide a perspective often missing from mainstream media coverage. The site goes to great pains to avoid bias. On the “Palestinian History” page, it provides this disclaimer, apologizing in advance for any offence their description may cause.

Save the Children UK recognises the political issues and sensitivities surrounding the current crisis in the Middle East and does not take a partisan view on these issues. Our sole concern is to protect the rights and lives of all children wherever they live and we believe that the Eye to Eye project can play an important role in building understanding and respect of this need during the current conflict.
For the benefit of the teachers and children using the Eye to Eye website, we have attempted in the following chronology to describe as objectively as we can, the historical context of the current situation of children in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. However this chronology does not claim to be comprehensive, and we apologise in advance if we inadvertently cause offence by the way we have described historical events.

Though the site does not entirely succeed at remaining impartial, the project seems worthy of attention, perhaps for that reason alone. The problem of how to teach these very emotional and inflammatory topics remains. Can one be impartial in this conflict? How do you sort through history and contemporary politics without taking a side? Is there a way to get past our emotional biases and political loyalties in order to find an objective “truth”? Is there an objective truth? These are the kinds of questions students should be confronted with; Eye to Eye offers one pathway into this contentious issue.