People will never give up
My experience in Palestine and the Zajel Youth Exchange Program went by so fast. The local volunteers are the most amazing team I’ve met so far: always helpful, so full of energy and ready to help in the most embarrassing situation, anytime, anywhere. It was my absolute pleasure to work with them. Moreover, they are generally fluent in English, which is a very important point for us, as foreigners.
By: Juanna Nopiotek
As a foreigner, before I came here, I had a very general point of view regarding the Palestinian situation. In Hebron I understood that former victims of Nazi camps (Zionist Jews) can be aggressors. Maybe this is not a very impressive discovery, but personally it is. It was very strange to walk across closed streets under such hard control. At one moment I was trying to take a picture and suddenly there was a fully armed Israeli soldier right behind my back. Another point of revelation was the checkpoints – a few of them in the same street. We were asked on one of them to show everything we had in the backpacks and to explain why one of the volunteers’ surname sounded Arabic. They even sent a drone to fly over us. On a positive note, I simply adored the so called “glass” that is made in Hebron. I would love to go back there once again and sit peacefully in Ibrahim’s Mosque for some time, next to prophet thumbs.
Spending the night in the desert and watching the sunrise to Catach from the cliffs over the Dead Sea was priceless! The walk through the street over Askar’s refugee camp showed a different image of the struggle that lots of people face living in such a small place: there is no privacy and almost everything is shared between neighbors. In that same place, however, you will find no surrender - people will never give up and, if not this time, they will eventually find a way to freedom.
The training workshops part of the camp was very refreshing. It is so when you work with people who really care and want to improve their skills. But, at the same time, I have to mention that students were expecting ready answers or solutions for their problems. It is strange for me, because we are not experts - we were not offered answers to our problems, we were taught to deal with problems step by step, making mistakes.