With all its ups and downs, our journey with ICS has come to an end. It has had its peaks and downfalls, but we are sad this is over. This is our last week of placement with the Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University. We cannot believe we will be apart after all these beautiful days we spent with wonderful people. It has been a journey of joy, excitement, and lots of love.
This blog was our chance as the in-country volunteers of the Right to Education Campaign to reflect on our ICS placement, especially the last two weeks. It was one exciting ride and we are more than happy to share it with you.
Last week we planned an awareness-raising event on campus. We had many difficulties but we made it eventually. It was very successful! We had a Garden Party on a hot day and we gave away free homemade lemonade to students while chatting with them about the Right to Education Campaign and inviting them to follow us on social media. We got positive feedback from students on campus and they seemed enthusiastic to join the campaign and be of help. They also had the chance to take photos with our Right to Education Instagram frame, and all these photos were uploaded to the Right to Education Facebook page so they would be motivated to follow us on our social media accounts.
Last Friday we went on a guided learning trip to Nazareth. Unfortunately, ICVs from the West Bank could not join because they could not get permits. We met Jonathan Cook, an accomplished journalist who has written a lot about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He was our guide in Nazareth and gave us a tour there. We visited the Basilica of the Annunciation, the old city of the Nazareth, the demolished village of Sepphoris (Saffuriya) where there is a shrine for the great Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali and we visited Nazareth Illit, an Israeli city overlooking the Arab city of Nazareth. We discussed the issue of Palestinians living in Israel, Muslims and Christians in Nazareth, methods of occupation and many other interesting issues that we, Palestinians, did not know about our country.
As for work in the office, we have our hand-in notes ready for the next cohort so that they can benefit from our experience so that they do not have to start from scratch. We prepared and suggested some improvements for the Right to Education Campaign to be more efficient and deliver its message in the best possible way.
We are very thankful we had this exceptional experience over the past 10 weeks. We made new friends, got to know another culture and even know ours more. It was one life-changing experience. As for you, our UK volunteers, Ellen the philosopher, Lotty the diva, Corrine the most mature and of course, the best team leaders, Cath and Tala, we are going to miss you loads. We are very sad you have to leave and we wish you all the best back in the UK! We love you, habibatii!
Till the next cohort,
The Right to Education Campaign Volunteers.