Overall Rating:/ 10I am not sure where to begin when attempting to describe my time spent in Palestine, it was an indescribable experience that I recommend to anyone who is given the opportunity. While my time in Palestine gave me a better understanding of life under occupation, I will never truly understand what the Palestinians live through every single day. Volunteering in Palestine for three weeks opened my eyes to the occupation and allows me to spread this information to other people who do not understand how the lives of the Palestinians are affected. I learned that while I may not end the occupation, I can at least make sure the voices of the Palestinians are not silenced and my presence in Palestine offered them connection from the outside world.
The Palestinian people have a beautiful mentality, they are thankful for what they do have and they are the most hospitable and resilient people I have met. As cliche as it may sound, volunteering in Palestine was an eye opening experience. I spent my time participating in recreational activities with the children living in refugee camps, and I became very attached to them. The kids were genuine and full of life, and they will all tug on your arm at the same time when you walk into the room so that they can sit by you.
The occupation is certainly something that every individual should see for themselves. Through hearing personal accounts, witnessing settlements and refugee camps, driving through numerous checkpoints, and witnessing demolitions one can being to get a glimpse of the effect of the occupation. Palestine is extremely rich in culture, hospitality, and history and a place I recommend to anyone who is interested in an unimaginable experience. The program coordinators were extremely helpful and welcoming, the accommodations were wonderful, and I met other amazing international volunteers whom I plan to keep in touch with. Learn a little bit of Arabic before you go and do not hesitate, go see for yourself what Palestine has to offer and you will gain so much from it!