At the Center I facilitated workshops in human rights, with a particular focus on women's rights. The Center organised the sessions and the staff took an active part in the discussions as well as helping out with translations when needed. As part of the volunteering program, I had a couple of Arabic lessons per week and everyone I met was willing and eager to engage in unofficial lectures. To live with a host family also gave me an opportunity to practice my Arabic skills when I was not at the Center.
Living with a host family I believe gave me a completely different experience. Not only did I make new friends, but I also got to take part in the Palestinian culture. We shared experiences and learned from each other. I am very humbled to the way I was welcomed into my host family and their expended family. Most of the Palestinians I met were like this, open, warm and inviting. Connecting you with family and friends in other cities so I had someone to show me around when I made my way there.
Thinking of my experience during my time in Hebron it felt as though I was there for longer than two weeks. Between workshops and Arabic lessons, the Center organised field visits to local textile, ceramic and glass factories. I also visited the old town of Hebron, the Ibrahimi Mosque, the Russian Compound Church, Hebron University, a local radio station as well as a refugee camp in south of Hebron. Always accompanied by someone from the Center or by a local Hebron person who shared their knowledge and experience. On my own and with other international volunteers I also visited other cities in Palestine, such as Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jerusalem and Jericho. Even though I organised these trips myself the staff at the Center helped with the logistics and giving recommendations on sites to visit.
I truly felt, what I believe was one of the most frequent sentences during my time in Palestine, “Welcome to Palestine”.