Freitag, 31. Januar 2014

Permits, Paintings and Stories - The Palestinian Wall

I have never experienced the Berlin Wall, so it was quite alarming for me to see the wall which goes around the Westbank.
It’s around 8 metres high and you can only pass it through the checkpoints.

As we were a big touristic group there weren’t many problems to pass. But as a Palestinian you need a permit to pass the checkpoint. 

On the pictures you can see a example for such a permit which is spread by non-governmental organisations in Palestine to inform about the permit-system. The permits are only granted to a those how apply especially for them. You have to have a reason why you want to leave and you will get a timelimit when you are allowed to leave and when you have to come back. To get such a permit is quite time consuming. First you have to go the Palastinian office, then to the israeli and so on... That can take up to a few weeks, because they want to see quite many things... But what one of the biger problems is, that often the permit doesn’t guarantee for sure, that someone can pass the checkpoint, because if they don't want to let you pass, they don't let you pass.

The wall itself is painted with different kind of pictures or sayings.
You can see appeals for Peace and Freedom.

There are as well as paintings from persons.
For example there is this really big painting of Leila Khaled. She is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and now member of the Palestinian National Council. She’s quite famous for her hijacking an airline and was released during a prisoner exchange.

Also there is this exhibition which is called the “Wall Museum”. Repeatedly you can see big white sheets with stories told by Palestinian citizens about their life with and behind the wall. I’m not sure how many there are but there are quite a lot and I’d like to share some with you.

Till next time ;)

Mittwoch, 29. Januar 2014

Bethlehem Part II

Today I would like to show you around Bethlehem a little more =)

Quite typical for the Bethlehem region is the work with olive wood. Perhaps you have seen them in the shops, around Christmas time you can buy loads of Christmas tree decorations made of olive wood. 


We visited a manufactory and were allowed to take a look at the work.

Bethlehem is a really pulsating city. It’s loud and full of people from different parts of the world. There are Christians and Muslims. There are Tourists and Palestinians. It’s really interesting =)

What’s also quite cool is the fact, that there are loads of places where you can buy street snacks.

We also visited the “Shepherd field” the place where it is believed that the shepherds let graze their sheep at the time of Jesus birth.

There are many subterranean caves and loads of little places set up for prayers. The best is, that it’s really quite up there (and a little bit windy ;)). This is really good for recovering from the pulsating city.

And you have quite the "good" view from there to the Israeli Settlement Homat Shmuel.

So that’s it for today ;)

Till next time =)