Friday, May 11, 2007

Getting Ready

As I mentioned in my email, I am getting the last details ready before taking off soon to the West Bank on May 22nd. Once arriving I will meet my host family in Bethlehem whom I will be staying with for nearly three months. During this time I will be studying Arabic intensively and will be volunteering with an NGO, most likely teaching English.

Most people have a vague idea of what Israel and Palestine is and what's going on presently. To help you understand what the situation is presently I've added some links on the side here. First, it would be helpful to look at the map. Look for Bethlehem which is in the West Bank and is south of Jerusalem. Next, click on the link that gives a synopsis of the present situation in Palestine (known as the occupied territories), which is pretty bleak. In short, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live under military occupation, do not have their own state, and their economy is in shambles. Israel is building what they call a "security fence" (also called "the wall" by those who oppose it) which is cutting off the West Bank and further isolating it. Click on the Wall link for more info. on that. Lastly, for most people palestinian is synonomous with terrorist and with Muslim. This simply is not the case on many levels, but especially since there are many Palestinian Christians, many of whom are descendents of the earliest Christians. Check out the link to learn more about them.


Anonymous said...

looks good, Jonathan

Ruth F said...

Thats awesome, are you allowed to say who your going with? Learn lots of Arabic, it will be useful for the later :)