Blogs from Nablus, West Bank, Israel, Middle East - page 2

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Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 21st 2009

An unfortunate, but ubiquitous, part of any school experience is the classic bully-loser situation. Guys might steal lunches, topple books, and/or physically assault the poor victim. Girls refine it to an even greater degree: backstabbing, gossiping, and/or completely ostracizing a person for no discernible reason. The victim is either left to defend themselves, which, upon seeing the effect of their torture, probably goads the bully on. Or they can suffer in silence, counting the days until there’s some sort of spontaneous conscience formed by the aggressor, or simply wait until graduation. I think of this situation, and the sheer frustration that ensues, because of a friend of my roommates’ that unfortunately has entered my world. You think that we get over bullying after high school, but, as many could point out, that is most unequivocally untrue. ... read more

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 18th 2009

Chapter 2: The Actual Marriage Welcome to the longest. entry. ever. Its 1230am, and I just came back from my first Palestinian wedding. Good style be damned, I’m just trying to retain every little thing about it. First, the clothes. Sparkles, sequins, shiny fabric of every kind, embroidery, and elaborate coiffures. Even the hijab were arranged into little flowers, or bunches, as if hair. Apparently it’s become quite an industry in itself! And the makeup. I think the bride’s actual face was halfway down there. Pink eyeshadow is du jour, or basically a LOT of whatever matches the clothes that you are wearing. Heavy kohl in the eye creases, and eyebrows plucked and drawn in even when completely unneeded. Hair bows, bands, clips, and everything. There was one cousin (among the MANY MANY) that was wearing ... read more
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Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 18th 2009

Leadership Training Institute - Proposed Schedule Date Morning (10:00am-12:00pm) Afternoon (1:00pm-4:00pm) 21,june2009 Introduction to the Summer Training Program Welcome event to get to know each other 22,june2009 Presentation: Contemporary Political Geography of Palestine Guided tour of the Old City of Nablus and discussion on the 2nd Palestinian Intifada 23,june2009 Presentation: West Bank Land and Water Issues Visit to the village of Beit Furik and discussion on the effects of Israeli settlement activity in the region 24,june2009 Presentation: Palestinian Political Prisoners Visit to al Fara’a Prison and a discussion on the 1st Palestinian Intifada 25,june2009 Presentation: Legal, Environmental and Economic Lenses of the Apartheid Wall Visit to the village of Na’aleen and discussion about the popular resistance to the Wall 28,june2009 Workshop: Int... read more

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 17th 2009

(I'm sorry for how insanely long winded I was on this one) Chapter 1: Relationships (or lack thereof) I’ve tried, numerous times, to try and do justice to the life of a young Palestinian here. It’s very difficult- I mean, there are so many positive aspects, but I feel like it must be seen and experienced to properly appreciate. The social problems of the West have been described, but aren’t really acknowledged as problems per se: divorce, abuse, drugs and alcohol, violent crimes. These are, well, the former more than the latter, seen as part and parcel with the relative freedom that comes from living in a ‘developed, democratic’ society. The West also has an interesting idea of what Muslim society is like. Their world is decidedly misogynist; women are oppressed, women that wear the hijab ... read more

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 17th 2009

To perhaps counteract my verbosity on the last one: I'm really beginning to hate the fact that, on this blog, you have to select 'Israel' as the country in order to access the 'West Bank' region tab. Stacey... read more

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 17th 2009

Yes. As of two days ago I have declared war on all cockroaches. Whose population, despite the one I saw on the hospital grounds today (wow, I never realized how disgusting that sounds), was entirely concentrated in my apartment. Urgent Communique: Amass armies at 11pm, at the sink entrance to the kitchen. After the Massacre of the Fridge last Saturday, we’re to wage a full on attack. Sneaking by the spray laid on the floor, we plan to overwhelm the attacker when she is too tired from the day’s activities. -Head Roach I can’t say to any effect WHO won the war. Actually , I think that’s a lie. I won the battle, but they certainly won the war. I’ve never though myself as a squeamish, jump-on-the-chair screaming kind of gal, but when I saw a ... read more
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Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 10th 2009

“So. What is your name?” Stacey Waterman. “And What are you doing in Israel?” There’s a pause. I’m looking at this formidable Israeli policewoman, the fifth of what seems to be a never ending line of interrogators. I’m bleary-eyed, ridiculously exhausted from what is verging on a 20 hour trip from Montreal to here, Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. I really don’t know what answer to give her, being forewarned that Israeli security does not take quite a fancy to internationals choosing to work in the West Bank or Gaza, areas that they stubbornly refuse to accept as Palestine. I had already told a string of half-truths, not quite feeling comfortable to tell any outright lies, but trying to keep the purpose of my stay light. I was to be spending the next six to ... read more

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 8th 2009

I sit here, silently rubbing my temples, trying to coax the sheer volume of stuff I've learned, seen, and done over the past couple of days. This is what I love about traveling. One day seems like a week, one week seems like a month.... I'll get back to you on what a month feels like once I've completed it. Yes, so I've been in Nablus exactly a week. Even if I posted three entries a couple days ago, there is still such an overwhelming amount of news... maybe I should space it out, so as to tide you all over when (if) my life gets more boring. As the White Stripes wrote (I know, deep), split it up into manageable acorns... SO. Last Thursday, as I apparently logged in my journal, was a ridiculously Awesome ... read more

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 3rd 2009

Chapter 2. I had previously decided that Chapters made the whole thing seem much more dramatic. However, they kind of lose their potency when you only have two. But no matter. I proceed to wander around Tel Aviv. I find, while traveling, that there are no excuses for not exploring. In India, I was walking around for a week with infected lymphnodes. In Argentina, I was traveling for a month with pneumonia. So, after chatting with Jacko, the manager (obviously not his name, but I realized, shocked, that the only word I knew in Hebrew was "Shalom" and that it was NOT a language I could easily pick up), I wandered to the beach to see the sunset, and again, was unworried by the fact that I didn't pay a single bit of attention as to ... read more

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus June 3rd 2009

Back in Nablus after two weeks of computer-free travel in Israel, I am learning to find my way to and from the important points in town, such as the Al Jasmeen Hotel which is a local hangout for foreigners, I've been told, and has great coffee and free wifi. Now that I've found my way here I can write a little about my recent travels. There has been a lot of contrast during these last two weeks between Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Deisha, a refugee camp outside of Bethlehem in the West Bank. After staffing a Shambhala Training level in Tel Aviv I was planning to embark on a couchsurfing mission around Israel in order to meet Israelis and get some sort of a picture of Israeli society first hand rather than rely on other people's ... read more
Great Eastern Sun
Bathers near Yafo
Sky in Tel Aviv




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