What a whirlwind few days! I am sitting in a session on project development right now and my mind is being blown. Yesterday, we challenged the students to create project proposals in groups of 8-10 and to present them in front everyone during today’s session. Some of these students have never presented in front of a large group of people, most have never presented in English.
Wow. They are truly incredible. We have seen presentations for groups aimed to help advise high school students on what degree to choose for university (there are no academic advisors for high school students in Nablus) so they can have a ‘Better Life’. One group proposed creating a centre for only women in the Old City of Nablus – a place where women can mix and mingle together, exercise, spend time and share. Another tried to rally the students to give up one week’s worth of cigarettes and cell phone credit for Palestinian’s situated in refugee camps in Lebanon.
I am beyond excited by their ideas and the potential of these ideas. I hope and encourage the students to make each proposal a reality. Some of the groups are already committed to begin implementation of their projects next semester. My mind can’t even handle imagining the impact these students will have on their communities.
This morning, I sat down with nine students for interviews for the documentary I’m working on of our time here in Nablus – nine brilliant, joyful, driven students who left a huge painful smile on my face. I can’t wait to go home and edit all the footage I’ve been collecting. There are literally five different documentaries that I could make from all the different focuses and stories I’ve documented!
Last night one of the students, Alaa, invited us to his village to have a barbeque. The level of hospitality, acceptance and love I felt with all the people we met from the village and all of Alaa’s friends was incredible. It is hard for me to properly address in words the emotions and happiness I felt while we were singing, dancing and talking around the fire. I was on a high when we arrived back to the apartments.
I want to take a moment now, with one day of workshops left, to thank every individual who we have met from the bottom of my soul. Each of you has left a lasting impression on me; I hope I have done the same.
This was more of a ramble than a coherent blog post… hope you enjoyed!