we've been always surrounded by very good people
I decided to go to Palestine with Zajel Program because I needed a volunteering experience for my studies. I'm studying international law, specialized in reconstruction or States so I chose to go to Palestine as a first step for a future internship in Palestine.
By: Anna Vermont
As soon as we arrived, volunteers from the Zajel Program welcomed us with food, smiles, and very warm attentions. It was just the beginning, all the volunteers and other people we've met along the two weeks fussed over us.
Me and other volunteers from all around Europe have spent two unforgettable weeks traveling around West Bank, meeting amazing people, giving workshops, listening to conferences about different aspects of the conflict and about the History of Palestine. Each volunteer had a different story, a different reason to be here and each of them were great people who made the experience even better than expected.
Along the trip, we met an ex-prisoner talking about his experience in prison and about the torture he had been through, it was very moving and impressive to discover a way of living that we couldn't even imagine. We went into the prison he had been to and observed the conditions of life there. At the end of the experience, it was impossible not to feel concerned by their cause so it confirmed my decision to go back and help in any way I could.
We also had the chance to meet a priest who talked to us about his hope over a one state solution. Along the sad moments we witnessed, seeing someone full of hope and different suggestions felt like a relieve.
We listened to several interesting conferences about the economic issue in Palestine, the access of water issue, and the history of Palestine. All the people we met were very open minded, happy to answer any of our questions.
Along the conferences, I also discovered a beautiful country and wonderful landscapes. We went to the Jordan Valley, to several villages, to visit the Samaritans, to meet people living in caves because of the demolished houses policy. Even though the life of the Palestinians is not always easy within the current situation, we've been always surrounded by very sweet people, with a hospitality beyond compare.
Thanks to the workshops, we've participated in many debates and cultural exchanges. The students were eager to hear more about our lives, our opinion and were always happy to tell us more about their culture and their feelings on the conflict but also on any other question we asked. They all played the game whatever the debate, game, or work we suggested.
The schedule was busy but just perfectly balanced so we can get the time to make the most of it, as well as getting the time to know each other good enough to become friends. I'll come again soon and meet again with the volunteers and students we met there. Thanks to Zajel program, the idea of organizing such an exchange is amazing.