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News about Palestinian-Israeli conflict have been on the front page cover of each ‎newspaper in the world for the past several decades. For that reason, before the trip ‎to Palestine I felt anxiety and was a bit nervous, which was also caused by my ‎friends' and parents' worries.


By: Maria Herzonova

People have been living under occupation by other countries for roughly 100 ‎years, 50 years of which under the occupation of Israel. I have never imagined ‎what "occupation" really means. Partly we experienced this in our trip to Hebron, ‎when there were checkpoints with armed soldiers on one road to the holly mosque. ‎You as a Palestinian or a foreigner need to pass strict inspection of your ID and ‎belongings in order to get into the mosque. As a Palestinian, you do not have the ‎right to pray any time you like of the month in this mosque, which, in my opinion, ‎must be your basic right.‎

Visiting ghost streets in Hebron, we saw many abandoned houses, locked shops or ‎windows of the houses with flags of Israel – broken lives of many families. You ‎can only guess how their life was then by reading the records on the walls of the ‎houses. It was a rare occasion to see people in these streets.‎

When we visited “Youth against Settlements” house in the old city of Hebron. We ‎witnessed a scene of usual life of settlement, which barely could be considered as ‎normal for people from abroad. Two children on a playground were accompanied ‎by one armed soldier. I have an idea that the children are raised in this atmosphere ‎of war, hatred and intolerance.‎

Seems like all life of Palestinians are a bit struggle for their rights and existence. It ‎feels like no solution for Palestinian-Israeli conflict without the recognition of ‎Palestinian’s rights. I really admire your people, your spirit of stubbornness, ‎commitment to your earth, courage and persistence.‎

Regarding the program, local volunteers made a great job in order to make our ‎lives as much comfortable as it was possible, From the first meeting we felt warmly ‎welcomed by everyone at the university and generally in the city. Certainly, The ‎coordinator of the Zajel Program was a mastermind of whole project, without his ‎hard job and great organisational skills, we couldn’t reach high level of knowledge ‎and satisfaction from the program.‎

I really enjoyed all of our trips. The most memorable were to Bethlehem, Hebron, ‎Battir, Sabastya, Jericho, Jenin, Arab al-Rashyadh desert with a magnificent ‎sunrise. We also had many useful lectures and discussions from honoured ‎professors of the university.‎

Moreover, I really enjoyed the participation in workshops “Ice breaking English”. ‎It was a great chance to improve my English, when tried to make our lessons more ‎useful for students and made them speak in front of all.‎

I’m really grateful for these two weeks’ experience and I wish the best for the ‎future of your country.‎


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