Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1.2013 Camp Day 7- Bank of Palestine, Ramallah Musuem, Sakakini Center.

This morning we walked to the Bank of Palestine in Ramallah where we were welcomed warmly. We started off with, Hisham Al Shawa, the General Manager of the Bank of Palestine talking about the history of the bank and it’s challenges associated in operating under occupation in addition to how the bank attempts to reach to Palestinians living in the diaspora to invest in Palestine’s economy. 

Afterwards, the campers watched a short film on the bank initiative in building gardens for children aiming to keep them productive in playgrounds rather than wandering the streets. We then engaged in dialogue and were given awesome souvenir gifts.

Next we took a walk to the Museum of Ramallah where we saw thousand-year-old artifacts. We finished touring the museum and we went and enjoyed an excellent lunch at Level 5 restaurant, which overlooks beautiful scenery of Tireh.

After lunch we stopped by Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center and saw “Palestine Before 1948: Not Just a Memory” exhibition for the photographer Khalil Raad. The campers toured around the exhibition and took some pictures and were mesmerized by the images of Palestine before the Nakba, in its original form. 

Later on, we returned to school and reflected on our trips thus far and our reactions to what we’ve seen and learned.  After finishing up the discussion with sports outside, we wrapped up the day with a guest panel titled “Youth Activism and Engagement in Palestine.” Fajr Harb, from the Carter Center and Najwan Berakdar, a Senior debate coach spoke about their involvements in several activist groups such as Love Under Apartheid Campaign, BDS movement, Bab Al-Shams Initiative and so forth... Najwan in specific reflected on her identity as a Palestinian of Israeli citizenship and raised in “Palestine of 1948” and elaborated on the challenges and the discrimination Palestinians face daily. Fajr reflected on his experience growing up during the 1st and 2nd Intifada and different forms of activism. The campers engaged in talk and inquired about how Palestinians living abroad could help, such as themselves. Afterwards, the campers took the night off to spend the evening with each other or with their amazing host families.

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