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My name is David, I’m originally from Barcelona (Catalonia), and I’ve been living in London for the past 5 years. I’ve been volunteering for 2 weeks at An-Najah National University giving a workshop about social media and digital communications. I’m going to talk about the classes I taught, as well as my experiences in the different places we visited.


By: David Hanalda

My name is David, I’m originally from Barcelona (Catalonia), and I’ve been living in London for the past 5 years. I’ve been volunteering for 2 weeks at An-Najah National University giving a workshop about social media and digital communications. I’m going to talk about the classes I taught, as well as my experiences in the different places we visited.

In the workshops I tried to teach students, firstly, how to use different social media platforms and, secondly, how to use video and image editing software for students to communicate ideas into the digital world we live in. I started by exploring how to create a Facebook page and a YouTube channel. In the following lessons, I shared with the students ways to edit videos with Adobe Premiere. We continued by creating small clips with some sample footage and we finished by merging Adobe Premiere with our previous work using Photoshop in order to create a more complex video.

Students became more engaged following the classes and they asked several questions regarding the lessons. Their digital knowledge differed considerably from one to another, as some had studied more literary degrees whilst others had studied more computer science related ones. Even the most technologically capable students were helping out their less experienced classmates.

Regarding the places we visited in the West Bank and Israel, there were mixed feelings. On one hand, we were emotionally connected with people who were living below the line of poverty in the refugee camp of Askar, where residents sometimes have no access to water for 14 days, or wondering when it is going to be the next time an Israeli soldier will break into their house. On the other hand, we had the opportunity to watch the sunrise over the Dead Sea, seeing Jordan on the other side. It is the light of hope that still shines in the heart of most Palestinians nowadays.

We were also moved when we took a trip to the northern part of the Israeli Territory and I found out that some of the students, aged 21, have never been there or they have never seen the sea before, considering that the Mediterranean is less than an hour driving from where they live. That gave me a sad, real impression of the long lasting restriction and oppression that Israel is inflicting towards the Palestinian people.

To sum up, I would like to conclude that Palestine faces many problems every day, from access to a constant supply of water, land occupation by Israeli settlers, highly restricted access of movement (even inside the West Bank, the town of Hebron being an example), restricted access to technology (not even 3G connection for Palestinian mobile phones). But for the past 2 weeks that I’ve been living and interacting with Palestinian people I have discovered that they have a very powerful weapon to fight against all these adversities, and that is EDUCATION. A proper, good education that makes every student willing to discover new realities with new people, a natural curiosity that makes them learn new languages and maybe have the opportunity to continue their studies abroad. All of this is possible thanks to the great work that Zajel and its team are doing at An-Najah, bringing international volunteers to exchange their culture and experience with the students to bring  the world a little bit closer together.


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