Saturday 19 April 2014

From Nick - ariving in Palestine

I made it!!

My flight laded in Tel-Aviv airport around 4pm, upon arrival an uninterested security worker skimmed through my passport and granted me a visa. A friend I traveled with was scrutinized more vigorously. She holds a clean British passport but something about her name or appearance  was deemed suspicious, the security guard found out her parents originated from Kashmir and she was asked to step into a back room. 5 hours sludged by in a hard room occupied by frustrated boarder crossers, bored police and a Coca Cola vending machine. Once free We took a taxi to Jerusalem then met another volunteer. What would be a 20 minute walk, had there not been a monolithic barrier bisecting the city, took 45 minutes in a taxi. The wall meanders the Abu Dis landscape like old nails across a chalkboard. dislocating people from loved ones, livelihoods education and hospitals. This concrete curtain is an anti social big brother of a dilapidated ruin- routinely smudged by vandals, artists and the bullets of soldiers.

The next morning we strolled through the mountainous urban streets to cadfas Palestinian headquarters, Dar Assadaqa. We were greeted with a nourishing breakfast of fresh felafel hummus and salad whilst It was explained to me Palestinians live to eat- this was no lie. The typical generosity and openness of the people means I've been overwhelmed by all kinds of fresh and healthy foods, locally sourced and delicious.

The rest of the week entailed tours of various places of interest around Palestine. The strong sense of community here lead to people waiting in every location. Eager to guide us and explain their story's. My mind has been saturated with the harshness and complexity of the occupation. My attitude has been lifted by the peoples peacefulness, depth, light hearted nature and optimism.

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