6 Reasons Young Christian Palestinians Should Stay in Palestine
Recently I’ve seen a lot of young Christian Palestinian men and women leave the country, not to study, but in search of work opportunities. Many find better jobs in the Gulf, the Americas and Europe.
I understand that there are a number of opportunities and privileges that other countries offer that Palestine lacks due to the occupation, among other factors. Nonetheless, I remind you of the advantages that we have in Palestine that you can’t find anywhere else in the world! I hope these points are not only reasons you shouldn’t leave, but reasons that you should stay. I know there are a lot more reasons, but these are my favorites:
I guarantee that wherever you go, and as many people as you meet, you cannot find your family anywhere but at home. Those Sunday lunches at Tata’s (Grandmother’s) house, and those Saturday evening teas on Khalto’s (Auntie’s) patio cannot be found anywhere but Palestine. Besides, remember all the awesome weddings and other occasions that you’ll miss by being away!
That mansaf that your mom makes, and that koosa mahshi that your aunts make. No international cuisine can compete with that taste of home. Besides, where are you going to find mlukhyeh or za’atar in (insert foreign country of choice)?! The picture below is actually my mother’s mansaf!
Palestine has great weather nine months out of 12. The sun is out almost all year round. Try to get two weeks of sun shining in Norway and I’ll give you a prize! Although we have no beach in the West Bank, sitting outside on a summer night in a café in Beit Jala or Ramallah is worth a million beaches!
You know those late night hangouts with your childhood friends that are priceless? You won’t get that in the US or the Gulf or any of the European countries. You can probably live in Sweden for three months without saying a word to your neighbor or colleagues. Social life is a million times better at home!
5) The Struggle
In Palestine, we have a common and clear struggle – end the occupation! That’s why there is a cohesiveness and a warm connection whenever you meet a Palestinian. We are all a part of the same cause, in contrast to the US, Gulf countries, or European countries that lack a similar common goal. There is no strong connection between random people walking in the streets of New York, for example.
6) Christian Holidays
Whereas people have to travel the world to spend Christmas in Bethlehem, or Easter in Jerusalem, most Christian Palestinians (when they have permits) can get to these holy sites, like the Church of the Nativity and the Holy Sepulchre, without much traveling. Also, it’s so fun to watch the scouts marching around Nativity Square, or around the Old City of Jerusalem during these occasions. Christian holidays are a lot more authentic here in Palestine, where Jesus was born, lived, died and rose from the dead.