The main part of our day was spent cleaning up trash at a local park in Nablus. It was very hot and sunny today so most people weren’t too excited about it, but the job needed to be done. Everyone put on their gloves, grabbed a trash bag, and started to clean.
The little kids playing at the park were mesmerized by our presence. Swarms of girls came up to us and asked us our names and ages. The language barrier made it difficult to communicate but the girls managed to understand what I was trying to say (at least I think they did). Many began helping us clean up trash and their faces lit up each time they put a piece of trash in my bag and heard me thank them in Arabic. One girl even tried giving me money for what I was doing.
Later we traveled to a coexistence community for Arabs and Jews. We got a tour of the village and we had a chance to hear more about the place from a man who works and lives there. The main goal is to build mutual acceptance, respect, and cooperation between the two peoples. The children in the community and the surrounding villages get a wonderful opportunity in the sense that they learn in both Hebrew and Arabic. This means they grow up bilingual, as well as with a mindset that peace can happen in the future.
PS: Today was Yaseen’s 18th birthday!