Welcome to Palestine
By: Ana Daisy
The first email that I received from An-Najah National University ends with “welcome home”. That simple phrase summarizes what I feel right now when I think about Palestine. I felt at home, I felt that I was among good people.
Now I understand I didn’t know how it is to live in Palestine. Of course I knew about the existence of the refugee camps and the Israeli occupation, but I didn’t know that it was like an apartheid occupation. I didn’t know that, as foreigner, I have many more privileges in Palestine than the Palestinians in their own country.
To live with dignity but also lead a normal life under Israeli occupation without forgetting the duty and the right of resistance is not easy.
Yes, I enjoyed the great food; yes, I enjoyed the Palestinian landscape; yes, I liked the Palestinian hospitality, but I already have all that in my country, at least in a similar way. The lectures were very interesting, but, also, I could read books or articles about what we were taught. The thing that truly reached my deeper self was the students. They are in my heart. I have been a teacher for the last 30 years and so it isn’t easy to be touched in that way. They are so motivated that it’s worth working with and for them. They deserve a better future in ordinary conditions.
The other thing that touched me deeply was Zajel’s work with the youth. It is a huge and respectable way of improving a better and respectable life for all the students. What he is doing is so worthy that I now feel inspired to do some political or citizenship work at home. I feel that I have a debt towards them and for that reason I have to work, in my country, as an ambassador of the Palestinian situation. I must do projects concerning Palestine with my students and denounce the situation. We are talking about basic human rights.