جامعة النجاح الوطنية
An-Najah National University

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I arrived in Palestine on August 28th 2016. It was a warm evening and I immediately felt upon ‎arriving in ‘The Park’ to meet everyone, there was sense of home. I met all the local and ‎international volunteers that evening. It was quite like I had met them all before. We ate together ‎and were brought to our accommodation, which we settled into straight away. ‎

By: Geraldine Farei

The following morning we went to the new University Campus. An immense set of ultra-modern ‎buildings, with multiple faculties and associated amenities. A very impressive site and sight! We ‎had lunch back at the old campus followed by our first work shop. My area is Public Speaking ‎and or the fear of it. I was looking forward to this very much. I then had the pleasure of meeting ‎my new students, whom I may add were one of the nicest bunch of people I have ever met. They ‎all exuded a happiness, a contentment and or a lovely peace. I came to be in awe of their ‎beautiful smiling faces, without exception.  I have to remark, having travelled the world over ‎many years, I can say, without exception, Palestinians are the best looking race on earth. Life ‎continued and we got into the stride of our workshops and our daily routine.‎

I happened to be in the unusual situation of being the eldest by far within my group of ‎International Volunteers, but never the less that never was an issue. I blended in despite being 40 ‎years older than some. We were a very chilled out bunch. ‎

The days were flying by due to the attention to detail that Zajel Program had put into the ‎planning of each day. Each day was a surprise, an attention grabber, a multitude of fascinating ‎facts, a history lesson, a current affairs lesson, a chance to be within the sanctum of a family, a ‎wedding, a chance to explain our cultures, a chance for openness, a chance for transparency, an ‎exchange of thoughts and ideas and above all, a chance for meeting wonderful people. We all ‎were entranced and enthralled by what we were experiencing.  The visual impact of every single ‎visit and the people we had the opportunity to meet when visiting both in social and other ‎settings.  Each day, made for a truly memorable experience. ‎

My stay in Nablus would not be possible without the continued, consistent and unrelenting ‎dedication of the local students of the university. These people are without exception passionate, ‎dedicated and patriotic to mention just a few of their personal qualities. Meeting the local ‎students was a humbling experience. These people made our visit more personable and enjoyable ‎than I could ever have wished. They ironed out any unforeseen problems and were there at all ‎times.  I have to say, I was only really settling in, when it was time to say good bye. I really wish ‎it all could have lasted much longer. The time flew bye, I now miss Palestine and its beautiful ‎people, for now!‎

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