Zajel Closes the Activities of the
International Voluntary Work Camp.
Zajel Youth Exchange Program of the Public Relation Department
at An-Najah National University and in corporation with Askar
Center for Social Development ended the activities of the
international voluntary wok camp of the summer 2004 that
lasted for three weeks. The International volunteers along
with the local volunteers did many activities in order to help
the refugees children who are suffering from sever hard
conditions because of the siege imposed on them since four
years. The activities included programs for emotional
depriving for the children of special needs and children
suffering from brain mental retarded, and programs to help
handicapped children to socialize and merge with normal kids.
The volunteers worked in many corners such as music, drama,
hand crafts, sports, counseling and dancing.
The volunteers who are coming from USA, Europe, Latin America
and South East Asia, participated in workshops and educational
lectures about different Middle East topics, such as Palestine
history, refugees, Palestinian women, and Palestinian
literature. In addition they watched translated documentary
films like "exile dreams" for the Palestinian director May Al-Masry,
and "People of the world, where are you?", and other films
about the apartheid wall and the struggle of the Palestinian
A long tour to the old city of Nablus took place also.
Volunteers had the opportunity to enter destroyed homes,
inflicted by the Israeli invasions. They could see the
destruction of some houses, burnt by the Israeli occupation
forces. The group could also meet the eyewitnesses of the old
city who told their stories. The tour also included visits to
the traditional sites of the old city such as the Turkish
An interesting tour to the Refugee Camp of Askar was
organized. Both international and local volunteers visited the
in their units, interviewing them, and listening to their
experience of the homelessness and the hard conditions they
have gone through over the past half century. There was
discussion about the refugee’s right of return and the
implementation of the international community decisions
regarding refugees. The local volunteers themselves got great
experience from the study visit to the refugee camp.
The volunteers were introduced to the economical and
manufacturing conditions in Palestine during a tour in the
manufacturing area, and the volunteers visited the new campus
of An-Najah National University and saw the development that
the university had achieved during its educational process.
They also visited Hisham Hijawy collage of Technology.
The volunteers had a meeting with Dr. Rami Hamdallah,
President of An-Najah National University who explained the
academic developments and the university's efforts to open new
sections and departments which serve the needs of the local
society specially in applied sciences and IT. The volunteers
had a chance to meet the Governor of Nablus, Mahmoud Al-Alul
who talked about the situation in Nablus and the efforts done
by the governorate to reduce the citizens' suffering.
A friendly football match between the university's team and
the international volunteers' team was held by the Student
Affairs Deanship in corporation with the Youth Exchange
Program, the university's team was the
in the first match, and its attacking players showed a very
good talent, but in the second match, the volunteers' team had
successive 5 goals, the game ended by the university's team
winning 7 to 5. The volunteers' team showed their admiration
by the high athletic qualifications and good performance of
the university's team. Mr.Bilal Salameh, the Dean of the
Student affairs, gave the university plague for the
volunteers' team and appreciation letters for all the players.
A workshop on Christianity took place at the Catholic Church
in Nablus, George Saadeh, the Priest of the Catholic Church in
Nablus spoke about the tolerance between Muslims, Samaritans
and Christians of Nablus who have lived over the past hundreds
years in tolerance and coexistence. He also mentioned that all
three monotheistic religions are based on the word of God and
have the same goals but that it is politics which emphasize
The volunteers visited President Arafat, and they showed their
solidarity and sympathy with the president and the Palestinian
people, and they condemned the siege policy imposed on the
president and on all the Palestinian cities. In his turn the
president thanked the volunteers for their efforts in helping
the Palestinian society and in exposing the Israeli actions
done against the Palestinians.