Today the campers had an instructive day in Birzeit and Rawabi to start off our travels by exploring the towns surrounding Ramallah. We started the day on campus with our daily warm up to get the blood flowing and energize the campers in the morning. This was followed by a short crash course on the history of the Palestinian-Isreali conflict to contextualize what we will see during our trip. We went over key dates such as the Nakba, the Intifadas and Balfour declaration and explained to them the division of Palestinians into four categories of West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalemites and Palestinians behind the green line. We also went over the basics of Area A, B and C so that they could understand the geo-political situation that they are going to experience in the coming days.
They then took a bus to Birzeit University Campus where we met with a Birzeit official who showed us a short film about Birzeit’s history. He explained to the campers the importance of Birzeit’s role in the Palestinian conflict. He emphasized the importance of education as a tool of resistance in the conflict and the struggles of Birzeit students throughout it’s history to maintain the rights they had to education. They proceeded to take a short tour of the campus where we saw the monument erected for the Martyrs of Birzeit. This was followed by a leisurely lunch at the cafeteria where they had a chance to unwind from the heat.
They ended the day by taking a trip to Rawabi, the newly built modern Palestinian city. This was to show them the potential of the Palestinian nation. The bus ride back home was animated by discussions about the concept of Rawabi and a free to use AUX cord for the campers to play their own music and unwind after a full day.