We’ve just come two days into May and it’s been over five months since my JOU back in 2013. It’s safe to say that I have overcome my Encompass blues though the first few days were hard after everyone left. It felt like a part of my life was gone. (Though that may be exaggerating it a little)
One of the hot topics and debates revolved around the Palestine- Israel conflict and this was one of the reasons why I applied to go on the programme in the first place. I wanted to know how actual Palestinians felt about the conflict and how too the Israelis’ felt. There were some heated debates and passionate people within the group.
Personally, I have always been opinionated and passionate about this conflict and for nearly four years, I have wanted to visit Palestine to witness the situation there with my very own eyes. There are also places I want to visit such as the landmarks and religious places including Masjid Al Aqsa – situated in the Old City in Jerusalem, holy for Muslims not just in Palestine but worldwide, the Wailing wall, sacred to the Jewish faith and not far from Masjid Al Aqsa and I’ve wanted to visit Ibrahim’s/Abraham’s mosque, in which lies his tomb. There is so much to see there and so much to learn. Three great world religions; the Abrahamic faiths; Islam, Christianity and Judaism and one, common holy land.
My Journey has made me even more passionate about visiting Palestine, as I now have some really good friends there. So hopefully for me, after a lot of planning and effort, my next stop will be Palestine. Not to disregard any of the other programme countries and the beautiful people and places to see there, but one-step at a time.
Salma, UK, November 2013