All tagged West Bank

A Challenging Encounter

Last week I had a very interesting encounter with guests who came to see the offices where I work. After the usual superficial introductions, the conversation turned to questions about who they were and why and what they were doing in the country. Slowly their story began to unfold. They were Christians and were newly married; having come to Israel for their honeymoon. They came on a tour and had planned to stay for the three-month period that their tourist visas allowed and investigate what life in Israel was like.

5 Things Palestinians Look Forward to on Christmas

As this is my son’s first Christmas, it’s obviously very exciting for us! Thinking of how my son will grow up near the town where Christmas began makes me think of all the wonderful things about Christmas in Palestine. I know there are many more things than I can list in this post, but here are a few that come to mind during this Christmas season.

A Palestinian Perspective on the March for Peace

Yesterday morning, I drove out of Jerusalem on one of the busiest days of the year as the city is packed with Israeli Jews celebrating Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. I went to pick up my Palestinian friends in Beit Jala, Bethlehem and Beit Sahour. Since they are from the West Bank, they are not allowed to be on Israeli roads, so we drove through “The Valley of Fire”’ and the back roads to Jericho in order to get to Area C, where both Israelis and Palestinians can drive. We were on our way to Jesus’ baptismal site to join the march for peace initiated by Women Wage Peace.

Diversity among Christian Palestinians

As part of working in a Christian community, one experiences the unpleasant dark side of leadership where such behavior does not represent the merciful and just spirit of Christ. Power, authority and money are areas that leaders abuse sometimes, and young emerging leaders are confronted with disappointments. This is part of life, and each one responds to it differently.  Johny, Salma and myself were having lunch together when Johny asked Salma "How do you respond to injustices you faced with leaders towards you?"

A West Banker Goes to Haifa

My husband and I took this opportunity to go visit our friends in Haifa and Shfa Amr, since my husband has a three-month permit, which Israel granted to most Christians in the West Bank. I had been to both Haifa and Shfa Amr previously, but my husband had never been to either in his last 26 years living in the West Bank. It surprised a lot of people to hear that it was his first time visiting Haifa, particularly since it’s only an hour away from Ramallah (without checkpoints, etc.). Most people in Haifa and the North don’t understand the lack of opportunities that West Bankers have to visit 1948 Israeli occupied areas such as Haifa.

Three-State-Solution

Many times people ask what the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict looks like. And many are discouraged because of the unlikelihood of a realistic tangible solution. For me, there is no such thing as no solution. It is not within our nature to be hopeless, and when  there is a will, there is always a way. It is not impossible to solve our conflict. It is possible when we begin to believe in a solution.

Use a Tuk Tuk: Part 2

‘We will let you pass,’ the soldier said. My heart leapt in my chest. I will make it across the border! ‘Use a tuk tuk,’ he said, ‘It is a long, narrow and dark area, too long to walk.’

How Fit Can Palestinians Get?

Working out and being healthy have become very trendy in some areas in the West Bank, especially in Ramallah. I see people jogging and cycling all over town. I always see gym parking lots full, and I keep hearing of new “healthy” restaurants opening up!