This opportunity aligns perfectly with my desire to develop a deeper understanding of the complexity of mass migration and displacement, issues surrounding race and ethnicity, and the notion of power and privilege. While I have grappled with these issues as a student, I am eager to experience them first-hand and place them in a meaningful context. I have been completely engrossed in the refugee crisis and the complex example of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict throughout my time as a student, so this is an incredibly valuable opportunity that would allow me to witness the reality. Gaining an applied understanding will further inform and inspire my determination to build cross-cultural understanding and work towards seeking peace and justice within marginalized communities.
As my graduation date (and therefore student loan repayment) approaches, this trip will simply not be possible without the support of individuals and organizations that are willing to invest in this remarkable opportunity for me to grow, learn and connect as a passionate student and leader. In order to make this opportunity a reality, I must raise $2,100 to fund my transportation and travel costs on this journey. If you have any questions about this opportunity or would like to chat more about my intention, I would love to connect with you! Please see below if you would like more details about the local leaders we will engage with and sites we will visit:
Wednesday January 3rd: Late arrival. Dinner and overnight Dead Sea, Jordan
Thursday, January 4th: Morning visit with Zataari refugee camp in Jordan. Cross bridge, drive to Jerusalem. Meet with Ivan Karakashian of Defense for Children International. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Friday, January 5th: 8:30 AM field tour with Fayrouz Sharqawi of Grassroots Jerusalem. 11 AM Muslim prayers at Al Aqsa and free time for others. Visit Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Wailing Wall. Drive to Negev for dinner and overnight in Ecotourism location - Bedouin tents.
Saturday, January 6th: Morning visit to learn more about Bedouin culture with Khalil Alamour. Visit Amal Abu Alkham. Overnight in Bedouin Ecotourism with storytelling, traditional music and dance.
Sunday, January 7th — Christians celebrate Christmas, remember “Flight into Egypt”, Jesus and his family as refugees. Visit with Oren Yiftachel at Ben Gurion University and Hagar School. Overnight in Bedouin Ecotourism.
Monday, January 8th — Depart after breakfast for Hebron – Shehada Street and markets, Ibrahimi Mosque, Youth Against Settlements and Ma’ali’s Music School. Go to Ramallah for a meeting with Omar Barghouti, then to Nablus for dinner and overnight.
Tuesday, January 9th — Meet with Human Rights Protectors for a talk and tour of the old city. Lunch, then travel to Nazareth to the Church of the Annunciation. Field visit with Jonathan Cook to a disappeared Palestinian village. Return to Nablus for dinner and overnight.
Wednesday, January 10th — Tour through Souq in the old city. After lunch, go to Mt of Beatitudes for vesper service, and on to Golan Heights. Visit with Arab Human Rights Center. Field tour and dinner with Dr. Taiseer Merei. Overnight in the Golan.
Thursday, January 11th - Morning visit to the Syrian market, then drive to Jerusalem. Meet with Jeff Halper and Sahar Vardi. Visit Al Aqsa Mosque. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Friday, January 12th After breakfast, meet with Breaking the Silence. Free time in the Old City. Muslims go to Al Aqsa for Friday prayers. At 1:15 drive to Bethlehem. Visit George Saadeh at Shepherd’s Field School. Late afternoon visit to Al Rowwad at Aida Camp. Evening with Parents Circle. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem
Saturday, January 13th - Visit Church of Nativity. Visit with Shoruq Dance group in Dheishe Refugee Camp and Mazin Qumsiyeh at the Natural History Museum. Community dinner with Palestinian friends, music with Tamer and Nadine and students. Overnight in Bethlehem.
Sunday, January 14 - Cross bridge to Jordan, fly home.
To learn more about the Tree of Life Educational Fund (the non-profit organization I will be traveling with): http://www.tolef.org/
Thank you. I truly appreciate your time and consideration!
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