Zajel Welcomes Group from Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign to Nablus


7 May 2008


NABLUS, West Bank- Zajel Youth Exchange Program of the Public Relations Department at An-Najah National University, hosted a group of 26 visitors from Ireland.  The visitors are members of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a member-funded and run organization founded in 2001.  The group includes Irish human rights and community activists, academics and journalists.  The organization aims to provide a voice for Palestine in Ireland, and is committed to a just and sustainable peace in the Middle East.  The group has made several trips to Nablus, and continues to show their support for the community here.




Members of the group experienced, first hand, the effects of the occupation on daily life, Their visit included a tour of both the Old and New Campuses of the University, and lunch at the university dining room.  The guides explained the layout of the city from the views overlooking Nablus from the New Campus, and they learned about the routine difficulties imposed on students and faculty due to the occupation.  In addition, the group was told of the suffering of the University Community over the few years, and the loss of life among student body, faculty and staff.



The group toured the Old City.  They saw examples of the destruction, as well as learned about Nabulsi history and culture.  Their tour included: the Turkish Bath, the city’s oldest spice shop, as well as a trip though the area’s long winding corridors of vendors.  One participant remarked that the Old City held much potential, and could be a beautiful destination if it could be restored.


The visitors then went to the Community Development Center at Askar Refugee Camp, where they were greeted by the Center Director, Amjad Rafai, and some of the local children.  Mr. Rafahi, discussed the living situation within the camp, the history of its inhabitants, and the mission of the Community Development Center.  At the end of their trip to Askar, the group was treated to a Dabka presentation by the local children’s dance troupe.