Each Day is a New Opportunity
Leadership and Public Speaking was the name of my workshop. I love helping people around me to achieve their goals so I thought that was a good way to do it. Everyday I organized activities to encourage my fellows to improve their public speaking skills. The atmosphere in the class was very good and they were always helping each other during the various exercises. As last time, all of them decided to stay in touch with me so that is the best recompense.
By: Güler Koca
This was my second camp with Zajel Youth Exchange Program. I wanted to repeat it because it is a unique way to meet Palestinians and to share their daily life, at the university and at home. Each time, the tours prepared by Zajel coordinators was very insightful and the atmosphere in my training workshops was friendly.
For the first day till the last day of the camp, we visited lots of villages and places teaching us various us aspects of the conflict. In El Aqaba and Tana villages, as well as in Hebron city, we witnessed ethnic cleansing first hand; In Sabastia village we had a good overview of the Roman remains of Palestine; without forgetting all the important sites of the region such as Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, El Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem; And finally we saw with our own eyes and touched with our hands the Apartheid Wall both in Bethlehem and in Qalqylia.
During the whole program, there was only one canceled activity: We could not have access to Yanoun village because on the day we wanted to explore it all the entrances were closed by the Israeli army. Otherwise we could for sure witness a strong military presence in the occupied Palestinian territories and there are many checkpoints to go through but it did not negatively affect the quality of the program.
We visited the Jerzim mountain, where the Samaritans live. We were invited to observe their Pass Over ceremony. Samaritans follow Moses rules and live in Jerzim mountain where they believe Abraham sacrificed his son. Palestinians and Israelis attended this ceremony together with international representatives. Not many people know that Samaritans still exist.
During the camp, we got a clear picture of the current situation in Palestine. Many inhabitants exposed us the details of their daily life and the struggles they are facing because of the occupation. Each day was a new opportunity to hear from different people, organisations, activists for peace and professors sharing their experience and their knowledge with us.