For the first time in their 16-year-old lives, the Jewish girl in the WHY BE NORMAL? T-shirt and jeans and the Muslim girl in the hijab covering her head and full-length dress covering the rest of her are able to sit in the same room and talk and smile and share.Ofer, meet Islam. Islam, meet Ofer.
Yes, 7,000 miles away the maelstrom of war, fear, mistrust and percolating hatred that has swirled through and defined so much of their lives whorls on, taking more lives, poisoning more souls. But here, right now, in Denver, there is something else going on.
There is a beginning.
"She is wonderful," says Islam of Ofer.
"She's very cool," says Ofer of Islam.
The story's sickly-sweet tone reminds me of Tom Wolfe's description of the press (in The Right Stuff) as "the consummate hypocritical Victorian gent"--ever-ready to teach the boobs the appropriate attitude toward absolutely everything--including the "peace programs" of soppy teenage girls.