Why this blog?

Occupation, Checkpoints, Ceasefire, Blockade, House arrest, Raids, Incursions, Roadblocks, Trenches, Kidnapping, Settlements.

These are all words that most of us have heard before.
We think we know what they mean, but do we really?
Do you know what a word means if you have never experienced it in reality? Do you know what a checkpoint is and means unless you have actually been through one? Do you know what living under occupation means unless you’ve actually lived under occupation?

These are some of the questions I had been asking myself before I left for Nablus in summer 2008. I spent 5 weeks there, volunteering for Project Hope(see link in blog roll), a NGO based in Nablus and working with youth in the city and the refugee camps surrounding the city (Al Askar, Balata, Al Ein).
During those 5 weeks I decided to “interview” as many people as I could. Palestinians but also Internationals living in Nablus and the West Bank.
Looking for answers.
I did not want to interview politicians, experts or so called specialists on the subject. I wanted to talk to “normal” people, living like You and I. Talking to the ones that matter, the ones that suffer, the ones that were unfortunately the best placed to answer me.
The ones living under occupation.
Those five weeks were amazing and I met people I will never forget.
They helped me to answer my questions.
I realise now that I did not really know what these words meant.
Now, I feel like  I am a bit closer to understanding. Why? Because I have spent time with those who experience them.
This blog is for us, people living in the West, to listen to what “the others” have to say. This blog is for us to stop assuming that we know about this “conflict”. This blog is for us to stop talking as if we were the intelligent ones, the ones who know, the ones who will resolve this “issue”.
There are images and realities in this world.
This is reality.

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The World is Talking, Are You Listening?