Wonderful days in Palestine
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.