Why I Like Palestine - Book | Pictures of Palestine

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Why I Like Palestine


I hope the picture tells it all. Palestine has plenty of fine people and interesting and special places.

Each day can be filled with events and experiences, some touching, some heart-wrenching. Life is not boring and routine. The openness of the people makes a big difference.
They call on me to respond with an openness and directness which, in my own rather switched-down country of Britain, isn't common any more.

Just walking around the streets can be quite engaging. A kid comes up and starts talking. An old lady makes eye-contact from soul to soul. Even when complaining about their lives, there's something vivid in the way Palestinians treat life.

But it's not just people: there's something scintillating in the landscape too, even though it is densely populated and, in parts, ruined by scenic atrocities such as the separation wall, army watchtowers and plenty of bulldozed land.

There are other problems such as litter, waste and busy roads. The holiness of this Holy Land manifests in the strangest of ways, in sharp-edged paradoxes and contradictions which completely fail to respond to logical understanding.

Moments can oscillate from the best to the worst, yet it's colourful and rich with human and spiritual issues. This brings us to consider life's deeper issues, to walk our talk and clarify what we really feel about life. The poorest people can be so generous. The least educated can be astute and perceptive. A manager can be humane and spend time drinking coffee with you. A child can be one of the most mature people around.

I encourage you to consider coming here. Just walk the streets and relate to people. Be served hummus and tabouleh in a cafe. Go visit the tomb of Abraham or a marketplace anywhere. Pray for the world in a holy place. Let the human in you come out.

It could be the trip of a lifetime. It's safe, contrary to expectation - a woman can walk alone through the streets. Yes, there's a low-level conflict going on, and sometimes unpleasant scenes. But strangely, it's this which adds the edge to being in Palestine.

What happens here is relevant worldwide.

Why I like Palestine
© Text and pictures copyright Palden Jenkins 2011. This is online material supplementing the book Pictures of Palestine by Palden Jenkins. You may print it out in single copies for your own non-commercial use or forward it by e-mail as long as the piece is unaltered and properly attributed to the author. The book's website is at  www.palden.co.uk/pop  
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