By Patrick Douglas – Switzerland
To better understand the conflict between Israel and Palestine; one has to go there and see it with one’s own eyes. Newspapers and other media are often either biased in favor of Israel or lack to cover the whole complexity of the Palestinian Question.
This is the reason why I decided to join the Zajel Youth Cultural Exchange Program “Knowledge saves lives” at An-Najah University. During these two weeks I had the opportunity to enjoy different events like presentations, trips to “hot-spots” and notable cultural sites. More than once during this events I had to control my emotions. It is very hard for me to understand the actions and the “logic” of the Israeli government to occupy Palestine. The Banksy Museum in Bethlehem, while listening to the “evacuation call” or reading some of the posters, was such an example where I had to control my emotions.
To me the most striking moments were while visiting Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Hebron, because I think that in these locations you can feel the heart of the conflict even stronger.
Aside from the interesting presentations and trips I really enjoyed teaching to and learning from the students. The discussions we had during the workshops and outside of these were precious and rich of emotional stories. The motivation some of my students have when talking about their future plans, dreams and hopes for their home Palestine thrilled me and left me astonished.
I will not leave this place in the same way I came here. I learned a lot. Unique two weeks of my life. The time has now come to share and spread these information and memories with people who are not that familiar with the Palestinian Question.