Friendship across borders

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Writing means putting my thoughts and feelings into words and always seemed a very hard thing to do for me. I find it something very meaningful, and I want it to perfectly describe how I feel and think… honestly I don’t think I’ll pull it off but I’m about to give it a try.

Obviously, I don’t know where to begin. I’m thinking maybe with the beginning?!? Yep that seems like the right thing to do.

Like most of the writers of this blog, I also participated in the Journey of Understanding; mine took place in Wales in March ’13, just over a year ago. To me, these 8 days will always be considered as one of the most fascinating, interesting and emotional experiences of my life. I was confronted with many labels I had put on myself, and that the world had put on me. I found it a unique privilege to stop life for a second, or more like 8 days, and explore who you are, where you are from and where is it that you are heading to. Not a lot of people get to do that, and only a few get to do it around the wonderful people I got to meet.

This was only a small part of what happened to me during those 8 days. The most meaningful thing was that my biggest fear in coming to Wales became my biggest blessing. Like many of us, I know that a human encounter is the most powerful of all. How it can change what you were born and raised to think. How someone who lives across the border becomes a face, a name, a friend. It is not that these thoughts came to my head yesterday or the week before…but today, more than a year after Wales I think I understand and feel it more deeply.

Last week I got invited to join a seeds of peace festival in Jerusalem by my wonderful friend from Palestine, Rawan, who I met on my Journey of Understanding.

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Sadly like every other day, there was tension between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The conflict hurts the lives of many people and it cannot be avoided, but for once I don’t want to talk about it. I do want to share how excited I was when I was on my way to Jerusalem, knowing that I’m about to see Rawan. I want to share how when we have met, it felt like Wales was a week ago. And mostly I want to share how it felt like as if it is another world, with no conflict were we were just two good friends laughing our hearts out and sharing our lives with each other.

I feel very thankful to all of you who took part in this journey for me, from the moment I’ve applied till not sure when cause it feels like it is still lasts, so thank you.

Natalie, Israel, March 2013

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