Once across the Jordan Valley crossing we were interrogated, questioned, ignored, everything. The Israeli side of the border was not a very nice place to be. Everyone working there looked like they could be 16. Anyway, fast forward to the good stuff.
We visited Jerusalem, the Old City, Ramallah, and Tel Aviv.
We encountered obstacles and stares and frankly people who just were not very friendly but all in all it was an experience that none of us would change for a second.
While in Tel Aviv the sea was like nothing I have ever seen. It was so calm and serene. Unlike the country itself. The sand was of the finest quality of sand I have ever felt. It was so soft I was tempted to bring a jar of it back with me. Unfortunately we crossed paths with very rude and obnoxious young Israeli soldiers who apparently grew up in the US and came back to be soldiers?
Ramallah was a sight as was the giant wall seperating the territory from the country.
The checkpoints, the machine guns, the tension, it was all just a lot to take in and while the sites were truly that a ‘sight’ to see we couldn’t help being overwhelmed with emotion. This resulted in our early trip back to Jordan and forgo the trip to Egypt.
The moment we stepped foot on the Jordanian side of the border we all wanted to fall and iss the ground, literally. We felt at home, at peace, and reassured that a machine gun would not be in our face within two seconds of being there.
Will I make the trip back? Maybe (momkin). Possibly to see a friend or two but I would think it over very hard. I think that it is important for people especially US citizens to go there and see what’s really going on.
I went there with little to no knowledge of the conflict and situation and no preconcieved ideas. I have come back full of thoughts just whizzing through my brain.
A fellow student in the program and I have decided to put together a forum/dialogue in which students who went to Israel/Palestine can discuss their views and their interpretations of the country, the people, the conflict, and anything else that may have rubbed them the wrong way.
I for one am looking forward to the discussion.