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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. ‎


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