So it’s been about a year since I updated this blog, and I’ve done a lot of growing and changing since then. Stephen and I had big plans for our respective wordpresses at the beginning of the year, which turned into the idea for the Collectives, which fell victim to schoolwork and time pressures. Anyhow, this is where I’ll be documenting my summer 2012 in Palestine. I’m leaving this afternoon on Polish Airlines to fly to Tel Aviv, Israel via Warsaw, Poland. Once there I will make my way across the checkpoints to Bethlehem, taking advantage of the privileges that come with an American passport.
The purposes of the trip this summer are religious and educational. I am pursuing an unpaid internship at the Wi’am Conflict Resolution Center in Bethlehem, a nonprofit organization that does small scale mediation work using the traditional Arabicsulha style of mediation, as well as advocacy on a larger scale. I’ll be helping them improve their English-language communication through their website and newsletter and teaching a class in conversational English for the staff. I’ll also be teaching a class about how to use the Internet to communicate and organize. For this, I’m receiving credit in the Peace and Conflict Studies 390 internship class.
Enough boring stuff, though. Spiritually, I hope to explore my own faith while working with Wi’am, which is a faith-based Christian organization. How does faith affect organizing work? What role does Christianity play in a non-Western country as opposed to America, especially a country where Christianity is not the dominant religion. How does Islam play a part in nonviolent social movements? I have many more questions than answers, which is a good starting place. My head is in a jumble right now and I have to finish packing!