Teaching Ground

A teacher is impelled by a student's troubles to confront the human suffering in the Middle East.

Vanessa R. Sasson

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© Sue Ann Harkey
A few years ago, near my office at Marianopolis College in Montreal, a colleague called out and asked me to mediate in an argument he was having with a student about the Middle East. I was running late, so, with a burst of laughter, I spontaneously answered, "They are all crazy over there! That is all you need to know."

Those words have haunted me ever since, both because of their flippancy and because I meant them. I did not have time to enter a discussion then, and I was—to an extent—just kidding. But I did believe, although I never admitted it, that everyone in the Middle East was crazy, that it was that simple.

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