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您现在的位置: 考试吧 > 英语听力 > 大学英语听力 > 大学体验英语第三册 > 正文

大学体验英语综合教程第三册Unit8:Passage A:Return from the Cage

  Return from the Cage

  It was the open space in Austin that initially overwhelmed me. I couldn't adjust to it. The ease with which I could get in a car and drive to any place left me bewildered and confused. Where were the military checkpoints? Where were the armed soldiers asking for my identification papers? Where were the barricades that would force me to turn back?

  I had just returned to the United States after an absence of 11 years, during which I lived in a refugee camp in Bethlehem, the town where Christ was born. I was not used to freedom of movement, nor to going more than a few miles without encountering military checkpoints.

  Getting comfortable with my sudden freedom in Austin was going to take time. I had to adjust to no longer feeling like an animal inside a cage. Most days, I felt utterly dazed. I would spend hours sitting on a stone bench at the University of Texas, staring at the squirrels and the birds. The green lawns brought tears to my eyes.

  My mind would drift to the refugee camp in Bethlehem, and to 3-year-old Marianna, my delightful ex-neighbor. Marianna has never seen a green lawn in her life and has never seen a squirrel. She lives confined to Bethlehem, forced to remain a prisoner behind the checkpoints and the military barricades. The distance between Marianna's house and Jerusalem is no further than the distance from my South Austin home to downtown. Yet Marianna has never been to Jerusalem and is unlikely to go there anytime in the near future, because no Palestinian can venture into the Holy City without a special Israeli-issued permit, and those permits are almost impossible to come by.

  But adjusting to my sudden freedom paled in comparison to overcoming my fears and my nightmares. When I left Bethlehem, the second Palestinian uprising against Israel's military occupation was already two months under way. The sound of bomb explosions, gunfire and Apache helicopters overhead lingered in my mind. Hard as I tried, I couldn't shake the sounds away. They were always there, ringing inside my head.

  Now, in Austin, there were nightmares. I would dream either of friends being shot dead, or see pools of blood spilling from human bodies, or that I myself was the target of gunfire. I would wake up in a sweat, terrified of going back to sleep. During the day, the sound of police or ambulance sirens made me jumpy. Helicopters flying overhead made me uneasy. I had to constantly remind myself that these were most often civilian and not military helicopters. I had to remind myself that the ambulances were not rushing to the wounded demonstrators.

  I looked around me, and I wondered if anyone realized, or even knew, that the Apache helicopters being used by the Israeli military to shell innocent Palestinian civilians are actually made in this country! As a writer in Palestine, I had regularly visited bombed-out houses in search of stories. The home of a young nurse sticks out in my mind. A few miles away from the stable in Bethlehem where Christ is said to have been born, her house came under attack by Israeli tanks and was completely burned. I held the remains of some of the tank shells in my two bare hands and read the inscription: "Made in Mesa, Arizona."

  I wanted to stand on a chair and scream this information to everyone walking through the mall. The tear gas civilians inhale in the Palestinian Territories is made in Pennsylvania, and the helicopters and the F-16 fighter planes are also made in the USA. Yet here in this society, no one appears to care that their tax money funds armies that bring death and destruction to civilians, civilians who are no different from civilians in this country.

  And I worry about the indifference in this country. I worry because someday, young American men will find themselves fighting another Vietnam War - this time possibly in the Middle East - without a notion of what it is they are doing there. And we will have a repetition of history: Mothers will lose sons and wives will lose husbands in an unnecessary war. I have been repeating this warning in all the talks I have been giving in the past nine months. No one took me seriously. I couldn't understand why young Americans, with their whole futures ahead of them, should go to die in a war they will not understand.

  推荐:重要的10句话

     快乐口语

     可是老师哭了

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