Approaching Conflicts
Contexts, Perspectives, and Values in Israel Education

Worksheet: Why I Have to Leave Israel

Toolkit Resource

This worksheet provides questions to guide learners through Sayed Kashua's article, "Why I Have to Leave Israel." Ask your students to review them before they begin to read, and then take notes on what they find upsetting, aggravating, surprising, or insightful. After reading, instruct students to write brief answers (3-4 sentences) to each of the questions. 

  • List and define any terms or people you hadn’t encountered before.
  • What is Kashua’s argument? Who is his audience?
  • How does the essay challenge you? What feelings did you have as you read it? How is it similar to, or different from, what you’ve previously read about Israel, especially Israeli Arabs?
  • What is the role of books, literature, and language for Kashua?
  • What role do books have on our identities and our personal growth?  What role do they have for Kashua?
  • Describe the war Kashua feels he has lost.
  • How did Kashua’s family influence his decision to leave Israel?
  • Kashua lived in West Jerusalem, while most Israeli Arabs in Jerusalem live in East Jerusalem. How does this affect him and his family? Have you ever been a visible minority in your neighborhood?
  • Catcher in the Rye plays a prominent role in the essay. Why is this novel so powerful for Kashua, and why does he give his copy of the book to his daughter?  If you’ve read the book, think about how you reacted to it. How was your reaction similar to Kashua’s, or different?