It was her 15th birthday

Her parents never knew that she was keeping a diary. Only after she was killed did they find these treasures, four diaries in all. As a tribute to Bat-Chen's legacy and will to be a writer and poet, her parents decided to share her writings with the world. In their words:

"We feel that we received her permission to do so when, in one of her diary entries, she wrote, 'Who knows, maybe one day I will be in the paper and be famous.' Bat-Chen is with us no more, but her spirit and her reflections will always remain. Her diaries and writing reveal a daughter with an interior world that was rich, sensitive, multi-faceted, different and special.

'So remember me as a special girl, a little different…'

We hope that you will all remember something from her writing, so that her memory will stay fresh for eternity."

The Shahak Family

The Arabs in Jerusalem
When people say that everyone lives together In Jerusalem, It's more than just words, Such different people, And that's the beauty of it.
Because beside the Western Wall, Stands a Muslim mosque.
Jerusalem is sacred to the Arabs too, And they also have so much to show. The mosques, the market, and the bakeries - These are things that typify them.
Arabs and Jews live alongside each other. So, in some way, Jerusalem is A symbol of peace
We can live together, And enjoy the magnificent sacred splendor Of Jerusalem
(seventh grade)

Bat-Chen wrote the following letter to Leah Rabin soon after the assassination of her husband, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in November 1995. As we mark the 15th anniversary of that tragic day, her words continue to be very relevant, when we are looking for genuine leadership to lead us, both Israelis and Palestinians, out of the current morass.

To Leah Rabin
Three shots and it's all over -
Now one talks about him in the past tense.
Suddenly, the present becomes the past,
And the past is only a memory.
We are standing, crying,
We want to believe it never happened,
That it is all a nightmare,
And when we wake up the next morning - it will not be so.
Instead, we wake up to a warped reality,
Where pain is laced with hate.
We cannot digest the enormity of this loss,
And we cannot comprehend its severity.
How can we understand such a tragedy,
In a civilization and not in the jungle?
Each one of us holds an opinion,
Yet, we do not have to agree.
We cannot turn the clock back,
But we can stop for today and remember.
For in a few days we will return to normalcy,
While the family is left to cope,
With this abomination!
It is like that first fallen domino,
That provokes a chain reaction.
We were beheaded, in every sense of the word,
And now it all crumbles.
As though he were the head, and we the body,
And when the head does not exist - the body dies!
It is impossible to build with parts that do not fit,
It is impossible to build with mismatched bricks.
It is an art to build a straight tower,
But a single kick can shatter it all.
And then,
Once can destroy a State!
I do not know why the search for guilty parties,
I think we are all guilty for not showing how much we loved him.
Like the children that grow up,
And only then understand their parents,
And sometimes it is too late …….
They ask for forgiveness, they write and they cry.
Maybe I am too naïve.
But I cannot understand,
How many people,
Take the law into their own hands!
How can we take the best gift ever given -
We are all one.
We share the same fate,
Old and young,
We stand grasping each other
And we cry …….
It seems, even the essence of life,
Is belittled next to your greatness
A Dream of Peace
Every person has a dream
One wants to be a millionaire
Another wants to be a writer
And I have a dream
Of peace.
Sometimes we give up
And feel that the special day
When every one will be happy and united
Right and left
Arabs and Jews
Become partners and friends
And there is no hatred and war anymore
That unique day
Looks like it won't come.
Maybe I'm naïve girl
But is it too much
To ask for peace and security?
Is it too much to dream
Of walking securely
In the streets of the Old City?
Is it too much not to see the mothers of
Young soldiers
Crying on their graves?
(ninth grade)
Bat-Chen's Legacy

"Every person has a dream…and I have a dream of peace."

These lines, which Bat-Chen penned a few months before her death, have inspired the Shahak family to carry on their daughter's aspirations and activities on behalf of peace.

The family and friends of Bat-Chen Shahak have established a non-profit Association for the Commemoration of Bat-Chen Shahak. Its goals are: promoting peace, encouraging meetings between Arabs and Jews, nurturing dialogue and rejecting violence and fostering literacy through educational endeavors in creative writing.