I wrote Fast Times in Palestine because so many Americans still don’t have even a basic grasp of the realities in the Holy Land despite (or perhaps because of) watching hours of mainstream media coverage.

For the same reason, I’ve developed a presentation called “Beyond the Headlines” that I’ve given at Google Tech Talks, Stanford University, and Oklahoma University, among other venues.

It begins with half an hour of pictures and stories about the good life in Palestine — jokes, harvests, school dances, public pools, bars, concerts, coffee shops, churches, soccer games, etc. Many people have told me this was the first time they saw Palestinians portrayed as normal human beings, and it affected their perceptions profoundly.

The second half-hour is all about the occupation — checkpoints, invasions, settlements, the Wall, the theft of East Jerusalem and the siege of Gaza. It’s a basic but devastating and engaging primer that leaves a visceral impression of what’s being done to Palestinians in our name and with our tax dollars.

In this time when “peace talks” are starting up again and siege-busting boats are heading to Gaza, a disturbing number of Americans still lack even a basic idea of the political and personal realities in the West Bank and Gaza. This talk can serve as a much-needed introduction to the Palestinian perspective.

Here’s the version of the talk I gave at Google. It can be tweaked for time and emphasis. If it can be of use to any organizations, churches, universities, high schools, etc. this fall, I’ll be happy to give it as a teach-in, fundraiser, or guest lecture. I’m based in New York and can be reached on pamolson @ gmail.

I look forward to hearing from you.

A holiday greeting painted on the Wall by Palestinian high school kids