Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stung by a Question

Barbara Hanst, a friend who lives in Boulder, is currently in Nablus, volunteering as an English teacher with Project Hope. Project Hope "works in the refugee camps, cities, and villages of the Nablus region of the northern West Bank, teaching English and delivering other essential education, arts and sports programs to Palestinian children and youth.

The largest volunteer organization of its kind in Palestine, Project Hope fosters dialogue and cooperation between local and international volunteers, while encouraging its volunteer alumni to remain involved with the issue of Palestine afterward."

Barbara posts her encounters and thoughts on regular emails to friends and family. I'm sharing her post yesterday—a poignant reminder about why it is so important for us to keep working to change the US role in the conflict.

She writes—

Dear friends and family,

I've spent much of the past several days "playing hooky" from Project Hope in order to spend time with fellow Boulderite and Sister City Project Board member, Carl Tintsman, who is passing through Nablus and has been interested in meeting some of our contacts here.

Last night we had dinner with a recent An-Najah graduate who is now the Community Participating Governance Coordinator for Global Communities. We were soliciting his input for ways to make the Sister City relationship effective, i.e. what projects we might undertake.

Inevitably the conversation strayed to the difficult conditions under which Palestinians live. "Do you think life would be like this for us if the United States were not giving Israel 8 1/2 million dollars a day and exercising veto power at the UN?"

We responded with silence.

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