Maurizio / Italy

 First, I want to thank everyone who makes this camp go on and I really want to thank the Askar camp.  But, I think that what we did  was not enough.  We didnít have the time to do more.

The first thing I was really impressed with about the camp, since the beginning, was the feeling that I could give the Palestinian people much less than they were giving  me. I met some local volunteers that I will never forget in my whole life. I wondered how they could get used to such a difficult situation and how they could smile. At the time of the first invasion I was still wondering about it and when I left back to Italy, I could understand it, at least just part of it. 

I think that all the meetings we had, all the things Ala told us, all the members of Palestinian movements and parties we met were so useful to try and give us at least a clue of what people in Nablus, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were experiencing. 

I was a bit frustrated, because I felt during the whole workcamp that I wasn't being as useful as I would have liked to be.  On the other hand, I knew I could have continued working when I would go back to my country, so I could cope well enough with this frustration.  For most of the days I spent in Palestine, I felt so useless, because I couldn't imagine any possible solution for the problem of Palestinians and I feel really worried about it, even now that I'm at home again. What struck me a lot was the will to fight of the people, the non-resignation, despite the fact that they all know that it is very unlikely that the question will be solved in a short term. 

Talking again about the frustration for not being useful in my work, I was helped to overcome it.  By the perception of the importance for the Palestinians, that we go back to our countries and tell our friends, relatives and media about the situation they are living through. I thought that I could do it and that the workcamp would not finish on August 31st. I thought I wanted to stay in touch with the local volunteers I've met. I thought all these things and more, and I still think of them. A sentence pronounced by Loulou really impressed me, "One will continue to fight if she has friends here." It's true, it's incredibly true. I think I have friends among Palestinians and as far as I have friends, I won't stop fighting. I won't stop writing to them as long as the Israelis continue to invade their cities and prevent them from studying or working. I won't stop talking to my friends and relatives here in Italy about the awful situation that the guys and girls I know must bear. I think that's the most important thing I've learned in the workcamp. I've also learned that it's hard to try and understand everything, that sometimes, most of the times, you must go away from a meeting or a place and still have lots of questions, questions that nobody will ever answer.

 Another impression I had during the days under curfew, was that I could not stand the Palestinian way of life for years, as many of you there do. I felt really bad while I was forced to stay at home, while I could not work, but in the meantime, I could go out to the internet point, because the curfew was only in the city center. I felt like imprisoned and free at the same time. Free of doing nothing, though! I couldn't accept the fact that not far from where I was, there were people killed by soldiers or ambulances that couldn't go and take the wounded. How can people stand all this for years, for decades?  And, how can a man or a woman be forced to live all their lives in a refugee camp, desperately hoping to go back to their native towns, but knowing that it's gonna be hard or even impossible? 

Finally, I would like to thank Loulou and Angela for their job, because of them, I never thought to abandon the camp, even if we had to stay at home for a few days, because of the curfew.  I would have abandoned not only the camp, but also my new Palestinian friends. In the end, I am happy with what I've chosen to do, really happy.  

I guess that's all I have to say. Now I of course have to thank Ala for what he has done for us. I understand his situation and I think the pressure he had to be subject to was huge. I hope I'll stay in touch with him as well and that he will help me in understanding what I can do, from here, to be of some help to Nablus citizens and to Palestinians in general. I think it's really a good sign that the Italians who took part in the camp are now trying to find together some common ways in which we can act. I hope we will achieve to do something meaningful. I really hope to see most of you again in Palestine when I go back there!