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After two weeks of the Zajel Youth camp of An-Najah University, I am extremely happy, satisfied ‎and tired. We have learned so much through the camp, we have seen so many interesting things ‎and met so many wonderful people.


By: Natali Rammel

The local volunteers were extremely friendly and always willing to help. They could be a bit over-‎protective at times, but it all comes from a good place. They just wanted us to feel happy and safe, ‎and I am very grateful to have had the chance to get to know all of them.‎

We have visited several amazing places that have both been marked by history, politics and the ‎conflict. The trip to Hebron gave a harsh but necessary insight into the hardships of the local ‎Palestinian population and the injustice they face in the hands of the settlers.‎

Nablus is a great city and the schedule included trips to one of the city’s refugee camps, the Old ‎City and several other nice places here. It would have been nice to spend some more time in the ‎refugee camp and the old city, but the day off allowed us to explore the Old City by ourselves, ‎which was extremely nice.‎

The workshops for me began as a large worry, but after the stress of the first workshop it became a ‎great joy to meet the students and help them learn English through Western music. It helped that ‎our class only had around 10 people. I am not sure I could have handled many more. I will truly ‎miss my students and I will not be scared to take a similar opportunity in the future.‎

The general schedule of the trip was very extensive and included many interesting trips and visits. ‎Keep in mind that when it says preliminary this means that it can change dramatically, and that the ‎schedule that is sent out is only a small peek of what might come. The schedule was very busy and ‎to constantly move around in the heat, getting new information and new impressions takes a lot of ‎energy, both physically and mentally. It has therefore been important to take good care of myself - ‎drinking lots of water, eating enough, sleeping enough and keeping my head in the right place. ‎However, it has been great to have a chance to see so many things in such a small time, and the ‎planning and scheduling has been so great. It is also great that the schedule allows for a day off if ‎that is needed to gather energy or visit some things alone. This flexibility has been really nice.‎

The camp is very centered around the conflict and the occupation, which has helped me become ‎much more aware of everything that goes on here. I could have used some more information on ‎Palestinian culture, traditions and their uniqueness. We did have the chance to attend wedding ‎party, visit a Bedouin camp and eat lots of local food (all of which was amazing), but I feel that ‎there is much more to learn about Palestine. The conflict does occupy much of the life here and it is ‎very understandable and good that they want to show us their hardships, as it can be hard to get ‎accurate information on this from home. I therefore leave the camp much wiser about this than ‎when I came.‎

All in all, this has been a great and eye opening experience! I would love to come back and revisit ‎the many interesting places and wonderful people here. The locals have made such an effort making ‎us all feel at home, and I am so grateful for everything they have done.‎


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