جامعة النجاح الوطنية
An-Najah National University

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My journey with Zajel has helped develop my personality. It has taught me to be more patient and more flexible when dealing with other people and team members. It has also taught me to accept others regardless of their sects, religion and beliefs.

By: Areej Qaisya

When I saw life and development in European countries, I felt like I had to get out of my shell, expand my perception and not focus as much on everyday things in my daily life when there are so many greater and more important things which deserve our attention in this world. In addition, when we used to agree on meeting up after a specific period, for example one or two hours, and at a specific meeting point, that taught me to pay attention and manage my time wisely and to focus on memorizing places well so that I can depend on myself to get back to the meeting point safely. This made me feel confident that I can walk around the place that I’m visiting for the first time even if I were alone, which in turn made me realize that I can travel anywhere by myself without any problems or fear.

I learned from Zajel’s program the importance of volunteering which opens up horizons and many opportunities for students and graduates. The importance of this program to the student is no less important to society. The student is the biggest beneficiary of this volunteering as he refines his character, discovers himself including his weaknesses and strengths and learns how to treat those weaknesses and enhance those strengths.

Once I visited The Da Vinci Museum, I was certain that the human being must be familiar with all sciences and knowledge and not limit his efforts only on his specialization. From what I’ve seen of Leonardo Da Vinci’s great achievements, I realized that he was not only a famous painter, but a scientist who invented weapons, machine guns, armored vehicles and aircraft. He also explained the human body very accurately and was a sculptor and engineer with a very broad culture. How could he have had enough time to do all this?

This was my question when I visited his museum in Rome and I wondered why we always complain that 24 hours a day is not enough to do one thing, knowing that Leonardo da Vinci had the same amount of time we have now. What we lack is planning and setting goals well and managing time in a smart way.

The activity I most enjoyed was riding the electric bike. It was a wonderful experience as we rode through the streets, alleys and around the river. It was a very wonderful feeling and made me wish than I can repeat the experience several times. The city of Florence made me feel very close and warm; as the dark red color of the city, with its charms and domes, made me feel comfortable and happy, which made me feel like this city was special and very different from the rest of the Italian cities we visited.

I myself benefited from communicating with the Italian students and I was able to benefit them linguistically as well considering they study Arabic in their university in Naples. They helped us and accompanied us to get to the best sites and museums and I felt that I was helping them learn new words and phrases in Arabic while we walked the streets of Naples and its museums. Whenever I looked at something I would translate it to Arabic to my Italian escort, which in turn would record what she learned on her mobile phone.

I did not want to stop sitting on the Tiber River in Rome, meditating and enjoying the splendor and beauty of nature. Surrounded by castles, trees and bridges, it is such a remarkable and amazing river. This beauty makes you feel that there is no need to focus on the things of everyday life, which take a lot of time, effort and nerves as there is nothing worth to keep thinking about in this life and that no matter what your problems are there is another beautiful world that deserves for you visit and see. There is a lot of knowledge and enlightenment in this world waiting for you. It is time to get out of your shell immediately and see all this knowledge and enlightenment.

My experience with water transport in Venice was surprising with a bit of humor at the same time. As in trains and buses, where you find stations to stand at and wait for the means of transport and read the dates of arrival, you can find the same idea in water transport. There is a large wooden room that sways on the water which you wait inside of until the boat arrives to take you to another island and you’ll be surprised to see that there are seats in the boat queued exactly like a train or bus. Back home now, I miss hearing the sounds of the Italian rivers and seas that bring peace and tranquility by looking at them; I see the beauty of God through them and thank him for his creativity and the beauty of his portrayal and his infinite blessings.

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