“I had the honor of being a part of Aida Youth Centre during my three-week stay in Bethlehem, in February 2018. As part of the experience, I was assisting Ms Taghreed in teaching children English and Maths. Due to my terrible Arabic, a lot of this involved music, art or just play. When I remember my time with the children and Ms Taghreed, I always remember this one class that touched me deeply – sitting in a circle, we put our hands on the ground and thanked the land for all that we have. At that moment, I understood how the strong sense of Palestinian identity was cultivated over many generations.
In mornings and evenings, I was assisting the centre manager, Anas, with research work. It was such a pleasure to know Anas. He is hardworking, smart, and very kind. He patiently endured my questions about life as a Palestinian, and his views about the current state of affairs. These are insights I will never receive from books or media. I believe that the time at Aida Centre has contributed to my growth as a more aware and compassionate human being, more than I have contributed to the centre. I look forward to being back there again, to return the favour that they have done for me!”