Sunday, 18 March 2007

First Day in Nablus

Sunday pm: After a short sleep we were picked up in our luxury Land Rover and taken to see the brand new offices of the Nablus Dundee Twinning Association from which we are able to write this blog.
We met Nasser Juma'a who is an elected legislator. He made us his friends instantly by treating us to the best Nablus tradition of knafeh. Could we make money by selling it in Dundee?

A visit to the local branch of the Teacher's Union enabled us to hear about the pay and conditions of teachers and the schools in Nablus. We are keen to see how links can be forged between groups in Dundee and Nablus with an emphasis on young people wherever possible.

Balata camp is bound to be a shock with streets so narrow that two people can hardly pass. But the cultural centre there is keeping alive old traditions of dancing as well as encouraging the women, children and young people of the camp to develop modern skills such as film making. Run by volunteers, it is great to find such positive efforts amidst the economic difficulties faced in the camp.

Onwards past stunning views of Nablus from the high slopes of Mount Ebal. We'll post photos as soon as we can.

Then to the National Centre for Music. What a surprise to be greeted by the stirring sounds of the band who included violins, guitars, drums and keyboards. Turns out they are all under 17 but, not so surprisingly, they practice at least twice a week. We heard about their visits to play in the USA, France and Belgium. Next stop Dundee perhaps?

So a full day (from airport to meetings), but heartening to see that culture is thriving in Nablus.

1 comment:

JJ said...

Wow - sounds amazing!!! Didnt realise Dundee Nablus Twinning Association had an office in Nablus - thats pretty cool!!

Look forward to the pics.