Yesterday in the afternoon we were divided into groups and sent on a treasure hunt in the city. What I learnt walking around the city is that Ramallah is a city that breathes, laughs, cries and lives. I was at odds with how normal life here is for everyone, despite the lack of normalcy.
This is an occupied land. Yet its people are free. Free in spirit, thought and expression. The walls are lined with graffiti, the streets have people laughing on them. People go about their daily lives, buying bread, paying bills, and such. It is just another day. There are people who sell flowers, there are many barbers and hair dressers, the cafes, bars, and restaurants are plentiful. These are all things that when occupied you forget. But being under siege for 60 years makes you adapt, acclimate and therein lies the difference.
I was asked today what is the difference between you as a Jordanian Palestinian and a Palestinian? And the biggest difference I could see was how I take my freedoms for granted. The pressures and the restrictions that people live under in this god forsaken land is enormous. Throughout this they persevere, the laugh, they welcome, they live. I take salute them all and thank the organizing this program for giving me a Jordanian Palestinian the opportunity to live a part of their lives in these 10 days I am here.