Thursday, 18 July 2013

Ehlan Wa Sahlan!

Wow. After much anticipation we have finally arrived at our destination and may I say Palestine you have not disappointed!

I think few of us knew what to expect. Often depicted negatively by the media, its people made out to be villains, Palestine seems to be regarded as off limits. The reactions I received when telling people I was coming were filled with more inquisition and vicarious trepidation than the envious encouragement that usually greets travel plans. For shame. 

From arrival we have encountered a welcome that can only be described as humbling. The Palestinian spirit is very much alive and well, and my gosh is it infectious. The kindness, resilience and pride of the Palestinian people is at times overwhelming. I think it is often forgotten that though they suffer greatly, optimism persists. Indeed, while we are here to assist the Palestinian people, I firmly believe we stand to learn more from them about the value of hope and perseverance in the face of the harshest odds.

Right to Education

But now let me introduce Right to Education (, the campaign that myself and fellow cohorts will be involved in over the next 3 months. Founded in 1988, R2E tirelessly works to document both nationally and internationally the oppression faced by Palestinian students, teachers and academic institutions under the Israeli military occupation both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 

Defending the fundamental human right to education (#Article 26, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and demanding an end to the – illegal – Israeli occupation and their attacks on Palestinian education lie at the heart of this campaign.

Us at work in the R2E office at Birzeit University
Through raising the campaign’s profile globally and documenting the hardships students endure under Israeli Occupation, via the means of social media and academic institutions, we as volunteers will be working to help create both an awareness of and solidarity with the youth of Palestine in achieving their dream of an education – something that we in the UK too often take for granted.

We hope you will support us in this mission and help spread the word.

Until next time.

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