Local Volunteers Impressions 2003

Aida

Summer work camps were the best experience I ever had to go through, those people changed a lot in me; they have helped me to open a new horizon in my soul to the other nations.

I used to think that the distorting media in the west and the over speedy life there isolated everyone and smashed every beautiful feeling any human can have, but you proved to me how much wrong I was, give those people any space of time and they will prove to you how human they are.

So, guys thank you so much, thank you for being here even for that small period of time, your presence here meant a lot to us, to know that there is somebody who shares our suffering even with his or her feeling, provides us with more hope to think that tomorrow may be better than today.

 Ahmad

I am pleased to say that my participation in this camp was one of the most important things.

I am really happy because of this participation, I got to know many people who stand with the Palestinian people and I knew the way that they think about us and at the end of the camp, I noticed that many things had been changed in their minds.

We are human like all the humans and we have the right of being and the right to exist on our land.

I enjoyed many of things in this camp, I enjoyed our voluntary work in the park and I enjoyed our voluntary work in the old city and in every place.

I also enjoyed the cultural theme of the camp and I enjoyed all the workshops about the Middle East and the other issues.

And I really gained a lot from the German lessons and the history of Germany which the German volunteers presented to us.

There is a great effect of my participation in this activity, I knew a lot of good local volunteers and now we are good friends, and the greatest impact of this camp was the visits of the refugee camps which testified to me a lot of things which I didnít know before.

It was so hard to get back to my normal life after the work camp, I got used to its atmosphere, and it was carved in my memory. I began making some work in my home garden and I imagined myself between the internationals and local volunteers working with me.

It was the greatest memory in my life and I will never forget this memory because it is placed in my heart and I will never forget it.

Yusra

I don't know exactly what to write but  being  part of the work camps was a really great experience, beside meeting some really nice people I had the opportunity to get to see parts of my city that I don't see everyday; like the refugee camps, although we live in the same city but I only visited refugee camps few times in the past, which made me think more often about our Palestinian issue and made me more determined to give my country and people all my best and try to help in anyway I can.

 That's why I want to continue volunteering with Zajel Youth Exchange Program, I really felt proud of myself after these camps.

 Being everyday with the international volunteers impressed me so much, I didn't think that they would be so understanding and so kind as they were, their sympathy touched me deeply, specially their speech on our last day, it showed how much they were affected by the reality of the situation in Palestine

 This summer, I felt that finally Palestinians aren't alone in the world and that there are some people who still care, and that when we shout our voice is heard

 Mira

At the beginning of the camp, I had no idea about it, and what will we do actually, although I have attended all the preparation meetings.

Nevertheless, from the first minute, everything went smoothly, people
where great and open-minded.

We had many conversations in many wide subjects; politics, religion,
women, conflicts throughout the entire world and of course the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

These conversations showed the different ideas that these people from
different backgrounds and nationalities have about Palestine and Israel.

 This camp added a lot to my life, like trust in people, and I could gain better understanding of the different points of view.

 Mitchell was one of the guys who really affected me with his thoughts and
words. Even though he's just 16 years old, he showed us with his pure feeling that he wants to do something, his feeling led him to know that something must be done, there's something wrong. Also, when we were working in the Park, Yuri saw a funeral passing beside the Park for 2 kids. She cried painfully.

And of course I can't forget Kim the good young woman I've ever met, with her open-mind and great sensitive feelings. She became a great friend.

I don't mean that they were the only guys whom I remember, but through their acts, they gave us a sense of innocence.

I don't want to thank you because of your feelings and solidarity but because you were all good friends, starting from the camp leader to the youngest volunteer, I learned many things from you all, Sierio, Kim, Jehan, Craig, Tilman, Diego, Charles,Safa2, Yuri ,Mitch, Hussam and all of you guys.

Safa

About my expression of July's camp in which we spent a very nice time, not only having fun, but also got good benefits which we added to our experiences.

 There were new things to know and learn, new ideas to create a new world, different people from many different nationalities, different languages, and different ideas and belief. This all helped to make the exchange very fruitful.

We discovered new places in our city Nablus. We also visited many historical, educational, and social places and organizations, such as the old city   buildings and how they were affected by the Israeli invasion of April 2002.

It was also good to be able to be responsible for doing something during the work camp, such as preparing food for all the volunteers or take care of the accommodation as well as the voluntary work itself.