Great synergy and competence have characterized our stay
By: Celia Polestra, Marqus Aphiler
We greatly appreciated the warmest hospitality and organization of the two week stay at An-Najah University. Despite the complex situation, we enjoyed a complete feeling of security when discovering the direct, deep and large experience of the reality and the profound problems of living in Palestine. But we also deeply appreciated the fact that we were given a chance to discover the strong engagement and the open-mindedness of the students and of all the other people we came to know in order to cope with the problems and to resolve them in the best way for everyone. It has been particularly astonishing to share opinions with female students, who demonstrated a profound awareness and capacity to reflect on and discuss the Palestinian society as well as a concrete willingness to share opinions at an international level. We feel that these women could represent a strong energy in the future development of the country.
We enjoyed collaborating with other internationals and, of course, with our students of the workshops, who demonstrated that they are able and ready to take the rudder. They were willing and able to learn rapidly, although we had to notice that certain fundamental aspects on culture and concepts in practice were not disposable in the way we thought they would be. But, on the other hand, we ourselves have also learnt from our students.
The lectures and the visits were very interesting and they opened up our minds to the reality of Palestine, not only regarding the very problematic relationship with Israel, but also the problems inside the Palestinian society. The visit to the Freedom Theatre was extremely interesting and surprising. In this sense we would have appreciated more experience with the cultural initiatives and movements, which promote their part of resistance (literature, music and performing arts) through cultural and artistic activities as instrument of local social development. We also think that artists could play a greater role as international ambassadors of Palestine and promoters of international exchanges.
Finally we wish to pass on our deepest thanks to Zajel Program and all the local volunteers, who not only have been doing great work in assisting us and organizing even the minor problems and issues, but have also anticipated every need and problem almost every time along with the solution. Great synergy and competence have characterized our stay.