Go Palestine - The Palestinian Center

The Palestinian Center - Go Palestine

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, The Palestinian Center - Go Palestine has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

About

The Palestinian Center (Go Palestine) for Education and Cultural Exchange was established as a youth initiative to offer educational and community services to its Palestinian population by means of a diverse and international staff. It is located in the heart of Hebron on Ein Sarah Street, and it is under the supervision of the Palestinian Authority. The Center's convenient location makes it easy for internationals and Palestinian students to access it.

Website
gopalestine.org
Headquarters

Ein Sarah Street
Hebron
Palestinian Territories

Reviews

Default avatar
Laurence
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Laurence and I'm a freelance musician from Scotland. I'm 27 years old and I enjoy travelling and experiencing different cultures.

My time in Hebron and the Palestinian centre has been insighftul, fulfilling and the experience of a lifetime. I have been able to engage with Palestinians on a daily basis and learn about daily life here whilst making new friends along the way.

During my volunteering period I have taught English and Music in refugee camps, arranged Music and English workshops for University students, judged at an English spelling bee and also taught English to students one-on-one.

My main observation of Palestinian culture has been the incredible sense of community and spirit here. Local people in Hebron are extremely friendly and hospitable and go out of their way to make you feel welcome in their city. The children in both Al-Arroub and Al-Fawwar camp have a passion for learning English and bring an infectiously positive energy and attitude to every class.

Palestine is a safe country despite what we often hear in Western mainstream media. Hebron is also a safe and very friendly city and I encourage anyone who wants to experience Palestinian culture to visit this part of the world. I would highly recommend the programs Go Palestine for an experience you won't ever forget.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Immerse yourself in the culture and engage in conversation with Palestinians on a daily basis. Approach everything with a positive attitude and also be adaptable and flexible to situations.
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Pat
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Patrick, and I come from Denmark. During my stay in Hebron, the Palestinian Center has helped me obtain deeper knowledge about the conflict and the conditions here.

Through teaching English in Hebron and at a nearby refugee camp, I was given an amazing opportunity to interact with people, learning about their point of views, and their local customs, all the while making new friends. Additionally, I met up with local activists, and I learned about different initiatives being done in order to better the situation of the Palestinian people.

Palestinian culture offers both openness, kindness, and delicious culinary experiences. It has been very easy to get to know people from all over the place, even getting invited into their homes.

While there are frequent demonstrations, Hebron is generally safe for foreigners. Westerners are not being targeted, and with the use of some precaution, it is possible to stay out of any conflict.

I would definitely recommend visiting Hebron and volunteering at the Palestinian Center for anyone, who is interested in Arabic language and culture, politics, and international relations. You will gather hands-on experience, and widen your perspectives regarding the Palestinian situation.

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Billie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Billie and I am currently studying a masters in Law in London. I decided to come to Palestine, and Hebron in particular, in order to learn about the legal situation on the ground. I spent two weeks on the Lawyers in Palestine programme with Go Palestine and really wish that I could have spent more time here as there is so much to learn, see and do in the city.
I arrived in Hebron in the evening having taken a sherut from Jerusalem and was met by Osama and Marwa who I was to stay with for the two weeks. Living with a Palestinian family is a very valuable experience and a great introduction to the culture of the city. It’s bitterly cold in winter so I’d recommend any one coming here in the winter months to pack lots of warm clothes for both outside and inside the house. The old city is beautiful and well worth a visit – it speaks volumes about the reality of life for Palestinians living under occupation.
The programme itself was extremely interesting. I had some lessons at the Centre which introduced me to some of the foundational principles underpinning Palestinian Law as well as some discussions about the context in which the law operates in Palestine. I was able to meet with a number of different lawyers to talk to them about their practice and the reality of working as a lawyer in Palestine. I also visited court and sat in a case during cross examination, which was a wildly different experience to that in England. In order to situate my legal learning in socio-political context, I also met with NGOs and women’s rights activists. This turned out to be invaluable because it enabled me to glean different perspectives around current debates happening in Hebron with regard to CEDAW in particular and women’s rights in general. I also visited Al Fawwar refugee camp just outside the city. I met with a fantastic lawyer there who spoke with me about the legal and socio-economic situation for Palestinian refugees.
Hebron city itself is relatively conservative compared to other cities in the West Bank but I found Palestinian culture to be extremely warm and friendly. People are very eager to talk with you and invite you in for tea or coffee. It’s easy to make friends and feel comfortable and at home in a relatively short time. It’s also very safe (for foreigners). I never felt unsafe in Palestine. I was never accosted or bothered by people and felt able to leave valuables lying around in the knowledge no one would take anything. Despite my abysmal Arabic abilities, perfect strangers were always happy to help me, often calling friends who could speak English in order to translate so that they could better help me. I always felt safe and very well looked after by everyone.
I would definitely recommend others to visit Palestine, especially Hebron. It’s a wonderful city and if you want to see for yourself how the occupation works in practice and affects Palestinians, there’s no better place.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Come with an open mind and try everything. Bring warm clothes in winter.
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Livia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Livia and I work for an International Foundation based in New York City. I first visited Palestine in March 2018 for a work trip and this was my second visit to the West Bank. I have a personal interest in the MENA region and Palestine in particular and was very happy to have the chance to meet local Hebron residents and learn more about Palestinian culture.
During this most recent trip volunteering with Go Palestine, I taught a few English classes to school girls aged 11-12, which was a wonderful experience as I found them very eager to learn and excited to have a new teacher, even if for just a few days. I also had the chance to take a couple of Arabic lessons and really liked my teacher Asma. The program also included a visit to the old city of Hebron and the Hirbawi factory, which is the last factory making traditional Palestinian Keffiyeh. During my stay I was hosted by a local family which gave me a further glimpse of daily life in Hebron. It was overall a good experience and my only regret is that my stay was too short, though I hope to return for a longer period next time around.
What I find most amazing about Palestine is the fact that people are so welcoming to foreigners even though they experience serious daily challenges due to the political situation there, some of which are caused directly or indirectly by foreign governments. Despite this, as long as you express interest in discovering the region and having discussions, no one will hold this against you and Palestine is overall a very safe place to travel. Palestinians will welcome you into their homes and share their culture, delicious food and other traditions with anyone interested in learning more about their country. While Hebron does experience more tension than other parts of Palestine, I still felt completely safe while I was there.
I recommend to anyone interested in the region and looking for a powerful learning experience to join one of the volunteer opportunities in Hebron. It is an experience that will have long-term benefits and will provide lasting memories to all parties involved.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be curious and willing to immerse yourself in an unfamiliar environment and you will enjoy the experience.
Default avatar
Calum
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Calum and I am from the United States, I spent the last year in Lebanon studying Arabic and wanted to continue with the progress I made in the Levantine Dialect so naturally Palestine was the perfect fit! Don’t let the proximity of the occupation dissuade you, Hebron is the most fascinating city in the West Bank. I loved exploring both sections of the city, one side under Israeli control and the other under that of the Palestinian Authority, and I found it interesting the variety of activists, and other humanitarian organizations working on the ground here as well. The Center was nice to have as it grounded me each day. Having breakfast with the same group of people can be comforting and the familiar routine is helpful when arriving in a new city where you don’t know anyone. I took part in a number of tours and meetings organized by the Center here such as seeing the famously shutdown Shuhada Street, the last Keffiyeh factory in the West Bank, a number of glass and pottery factories, and various professors, lawyers and reporters as well. There are many opportunities for guided tours of the Old City of Hebron and I highly recommend going on one of these, just ask the center and they are happy to arrange one for you. My program was unique in that I would observe all the activities in the center and either photograph them or make small videos about them so I enjoyed the variety very much. I also taught some English and wrote a bit for the website so just because you have registered for a single program doesn’t mean you are confined to it, the Center is flexible and if you talk with them they are willing and able to
accommodate most adjustments. Palestinians are known for their hospitality so definitely go with the flow, it is normal to be
invited in for coffee or even for an entire meal so feel free to accept these invitations, plus a nice home cooked meal can be a nice change of pace from shawarmas and falafel sandwiches, but don’t take this as a criticism of either, they are both delicious and I highly suggest trying them out. I never felt in danger when I was in Hebron, for the most part locals are excited to meet foreigners and respect your personal space, though I understand I am an adult male and don’t have to worry about the types of harassment that women must deal with on a much more regular basis. Exercise regular amounts of caution, travel with a buddy at night, but don’t think it's a dangerous city in general, nothing could be further than the truth. I most definitely recommend coming to Hebron, I was never bored here but you definitely have to keep yourself busy and meet as many people as possible in my opinion. The Center here can act as a good system of support and routine but it can be a bit unorganized and you might be unsure of your
responsibilities from time to time. If, however you are self-motivated the Center is a great platform and resource for all sorts of activities and projects.

What would you improve about this program?
More of a weekly structure or more specific responsibilities, after the first month or so I stopped having concrete work and had to make myself busy, which I enjoyed, the center is supportive in anything you come up with.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 14
The Palestinian Center - Go Palestine
Lawyers in Palestine - Internship
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The Lawyers in Palestine program is a program that gives you the...

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Human Rights Internship in Palestine
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Teach Conversational English in Palestine
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Volunteer with Palestinian Refugees
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Media Internship in Palestine
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The Media in Palestine Program is a great opportunity for individuals...

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Volunteer with Palestinian Children
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Refugees in Palestine Internship Program
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1 review1 interview

The Refugees in Palestine Program offers interns the unique...

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Study Shami Arabic (Ammiya) in Palestine
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1 review

The Study Shami Arabic in Palestine program presents a valuable...

The Palestinian Center - Go Palestine
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Internship
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1 review

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict program is an informative program...

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Laurence Murray

Laurence is a musician from Scotland who loves to travel and experience new cultures.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I wanted to experience Palestinian culture as well as the refugee situation first-hand. I also wanted to help students learn English through Music and in turn learn Arabic. Furthermore, I wanted to gain insight into the daily lives of those affected by the conflict.

This program looked to be a perfect fit for me and I am glad I made the decision to participate as a volunteer.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My program provider made me feel welcome in Hebron from day one and provided me with a fantastic apartment in the heart of the city. I lived in this apartment with fellow volunteers who I became close friends with and shared unforgettable experiences. I organized some day trips on my own and my program provider also organized group tours to various sights in Hebron.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

The best advice I can give to someone going on this program is to immerse yourself in the culture as soon as possible and go along with the flow of daily life.

Practice Arabic with local people who will be more than happy to help you out and don't be afraid to ask for help whenever necessary. The Palestinian people are extremely hospitable, welcoming and warm.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average week as a participant of this program may involve one-on-one English tuition, classroom English teaching, volunteer work in refugee camps and also Arabic classes if you would like to learn Arabic.

I encourage participants to learn conversational Arabic to help with daily interactions, especially in refugee camps where English is less commonly spoken. This will improve your overall experience.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear before going on my trip was that I wouldn't be welcomed as a foreigner and I would struggle to learn the local language. I committed myself to a certain amount of Arabic hours per week and, although I am not fluent, this helped greatly to learn basic conversational skills and interact with Palestinians.

What did you learn on your program that will stay with you?

This experience has been one of a lifetime and something I will never forget. The community and spirit of Palestinian people are incomparable and I have never before felt so welcomed in a city as I did in Hebron. Exchanging cultures has been mutually beneficial and I have learned so much about a culture I previously knew so little about.