Palestine Feels Home
I am Saioa, a volunteer of the International Youth Exchange Program (Zajel) at An-Najah National University and I've been to Palestine for two amazing weeks.
By: Saioa - Basque country
During my stay, I've met lots of interesting people and I've been treated extremely well. I had the opportunity to study the Palestinian conflict when I was in high school and I really felt that I had the need to visit this country someday. So when I found Zajel Program I didn't think twice, I applied and I was excited to come.
When I arrived everything seemed new to me, but now, feels like I've been here for almost 3 years, and that makes me happy because it means that I've had a great time here.
We have visited lots of Palestinian cities, such as Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Sabastia, etc. and knew about the political situation; I was surprised when I first saw the wall and the settlements. I was happy to see how Palestinians fight everyday just by not giving up on their lands and cities, I saw dignity in all the Palestinians' faces. That made me feel hopeful.
As for the program, I have to say I was amazed by the good organization in all the trips we made. The one I loved the most was the trip to the desert and seeing the sunrise at the Dead Sea. I also loved Hebron, I think it was the most shocking city for me. Also Bethlehem was shocking for all of us.
Other activity that I also loved a lot was visiting a family of one of the locals, I felt so loved and cared. I was very emotional to feel how good they treated me. I will forever be grateful and I will never forget that experience. Special thanks to Kayan and her family for being such great hosts, I will always keep you in my heart.
To summarize, I had the best time here in Palestine and I'm already thinking about coming back, I've felt so loved by all the volunteers around me, both the internationals and the locals. Everyone here is so opened to talk about anything, I have learned a lot about their culture, traditions, religion. I've also improved myself here.
I'm very happy I got the opportunity to be part of this amazing adventure. It has been an honor to be part of this exchange and I hope I can come back as soon as possible to this amazing country and back to be with all this amazing people I have met. Thank you to everyone that has been a part of this experience. May you live a long and peaceful life!