By Mark Ko – Hong Kong- China
Big thanks to all the An-Najah University coordinators and students, we had a wonderful workshops at the University. The enthusiasm of all of you is highly appreciated. Your smile, greetings and fast responses to all questions gave us the feeling of being at home.
In this training workshops, I have learnt a lot about the past, present and future of Palestine. The Coordinators of Zajel Program gave us a brief introduction of Palestinian history. Three professors from different departments told us the politics, energy uses and women rights in the country. They also shared many stories with us. Some stories are very sad but they reflected the difficulties faced by Palestinians and more importantly, the strong characteristics of Palestinians.
When we go outside and talk to people, I feel like I am a Palestinian. People welcomed me with tea, juice, candies and chocolate. They told us their stories and sometime showed us their wounds which were made during the fight for freedom. Sometimes I was emotional and wanted to do something for the peace in Palestine.
When we went to Hebron city, I was shocked by what I saw. The Israeli settlers and soldiers there destroyed the peaceful lives of local people. Although local people face lots of difficulties, they fight for justice. They formed the group “Youth Against Settlements” which showed us their power of resisting the injustice.
We lived in the city and experienced what locals experienced. Since the Israeli government tries to make the lives of Palestinians difficult, the Palestinian telecommunication and agricultural companies entered unfair competitions with Israelis’. The Israeli government also controlled all water and electricity supply in Palestine. People suffered from shortage of water. Yet the Palestinians are strong enough to face the difficulties.
I felt sorry that we did not offer much to the people in Palestine. The Palestinians teach us many things. What I can do is to let people know more about Palestine and encourage people to come and see.
Let me end with the quotation from Holocaust Museum: “A country is not only what it does, it is also what it tolerates.” I hope all people can live in peace.