Visiting Palestine is always a unique experience. What I have done in the 12 days has been amazing! I had the possibility of teaching at MICAD (Master in International Cooperation and Development) in the faculty of Business Administration at the Bethlehem University. At the same time, I had the possibility to participate as a speaker of the ongoing Summer school on the topic of ‘Culture and Development’. Thanks to the summer school, we traveled to two Cultural places. The ‘Human Patrimony’ by UNESCO, which is in the Village of Battir between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
It has a unique way of using all what is ‘community life’ in terms of agriculture, water supply, education etc. We then proceeded to the famous Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, which currently has a restoration going on for the past three years and will continue for an additional two years. It was exciting to see the restoration of the Mosaics.
Every time I visit Israel and Palestine there is always a lot to say. For sure, my learning from this particular trip is that the political solution for the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine is far to come. Presently, no solution has been foreseen.
My personal thoughts; which were also conferred by many of my Palestinian friends, is to have much more economic development in Palestine, especially in West Bank. To let people thrive as entrepreneurs, starting from small and medium enterprises. Business will attract business. It is likely and highly probable that a solution may come forth thanks to a thriving economic environment.
On the other hand, I strongly feel that International Development in the Middle East might be failing. Palestine is one of the places where you can clearly see this, that above all, in order to keep NGOs running in the north of the world and international organizations on the spot, we have headquarters of organizations, local and international right on the ground. The market is somehow still benefiting from ODA (Official Development Assistance AID) but we cannot really quantify any significant economic development.
Nonetheless, I always enjoy Palestine. I met a lot of friends, and experienced Fantastic food! (Which I shared through videos on the Facebook page). In spite of the ongoing conflict, I encourage you to take time to visit Israel and Palestine; specifically in the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem!
Browse for more Photos on the Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/Lifetime-Traveler-1906057989719550/
Till Next Time!