Ramallah is now hard-pressed to hang on to talent like Buttu and Tarazi. Over a third of the city's 40,000 residents are Palestinian Americans, educated abroad and expecting, as do most Palestinians, better days. Many have already left. One 21-year-old who preferred not to give her name says she is certain she will leave once she receives her finance degree from a local university. "Life has become impossible here, and I want a life."

Friday ritual: Teens battle the Israeli Defense Forces.
photo: Jehad Nga
Friday ritual: Teens battle the Israeli Defense Forces.

Elsewhere the war of slingshots and shotguns is beginning to wane. Three of the Israeli Jeeps have disappeared, and the boys are beginning to look bored with the battle. Many have stopped to buy ice cream from the vendor dodging gas canisters to make a shekel. A few head back to Arafat's smashed compound to collect scrap metal from demolished cars. Will the boys be back next Friday? "If they're still over there, then we'll be back."

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