It's been a weekend of emotionally-draining movies. First was Of Gods and Men, about which I wrote here. That was followed by Miral, the story of four Palestinian women whose lives intersected in Jerusalem over a period of several decades.
The movie literally left me speechless, but with a strange feeling of hope. It took a day or so for my emotions to process to the point that I realized why a movie that was depressing in many ways would leave me hopeful. I then understood it was the emphasis that was placed upon the education of women in general and Palestinian Muslim girls in particular. One of the main characters of the film is a Palestinian Christian who dedicated her life to the education of these girls including the main character Miral.
Dr. Izzaldin Abuelaish, about whom I write here and here, argues that the key to a successful future for the Palestinians is the education of Palestinian girls, and Miral presents a visual example of that argument.
By coincidence - although I don't believe in coincidence - I had a most interesting conversation today with a young woman from a Brahmin family in India who is now an American citizen. One of the formative experiences of her life was being taught by Catholic monks as a young girl in Bombay. Again, it's the story of young girls being influenced and benefited by dedicated Christian educators.