JACQUELINE B. “In this beginning of spring, in Palestine, the olive trees were snowy, the pomegranate trees bloody, the plowed earth was spreading out its bright ocher gashes under the sun. In the gardens the overpowering smells of orange blossoms, jasmine and honeysuckle eclipsed the delicate perfume of roses. […] Sunday, Jerusalem […] After a brief visit of the gardens and offices of these marvelous places, we descend into a cave located under JB’s office. It is one of his old dig sites, and has become his favorite hideaway. A few chairs, a boom box, a few glasses indicate that he gladly lends his den to his students, who enjoy meeting there. We sit in a circle and the father says he is ready to answer all of our questions. We don’t hold back. […] We are fascinated by the serenity of this man, with a bright and sharp gaze, sparkling with wit, humor and kindness. He shines with an inner light that illuminates us in this thousand-year- old cave where stone tombs pile up. I think: Wisdom, Strength and Beauty… We leave him at dusk for a friendly meal in the blooming gardens of a restaurant next to our hotel in Ramallah – which we will return to, exhausted. Tuesday, Jenin region […] We are awaited at Ta’anek – the archeological site – by the Municipal Council at a community center, inside a multipurpose room. Sitting on chairs arranged all around the room, as per tradition, we exchange. Each and every one of us explains who he or she is, his or her motivations and first impressions, we answer questions, and receive in return fraternal welcoming words. They, explain to us how they function, their resources, their actions in different domains. What stands out is this creative will, this strength to act by clinging desperately onto the little they possess – which we would meet subsequently everywhere else. Right in the middle of the meeting we are joined by Thomas and Ayoub […]. A grand reunion. Endless embraces. Bursts of laughter. Generous hugs. Here friendship is displayed and proven at each encounter. One takes the time to love, congratulate and talk to each other. I do not know if “the Word was made flesh”, but here, at every encounter, the flesh is made Word. Every word counts. Repeated several times, it increases in meaning and becomes fastened in the reality of the moment. The people, the places and the things are named and renamed. Repeated, hammered, proper nouns become familiar, we internalize them. […]”
CHRISTINE B. Thursday, Nablus “Each day that goes by is different, rich especially with encounters. We’re fully immersed, discovering the country through its landscapes along our travels, through its population along our numerous encounters, through its history by the visit of cities, villages and archeological sites, through its energy by the associations working on social and economic development. Palestine is no longer a faraway land but it has, presently, a multitude of faces. […]”
JOCELYNE C. “It has been a month now since our return from Palestine and I must admit that I haven’t fully left this country and its inhabitants, and that the memories linger on.”.
MARIE-FRANCE B. “Because I know the quality of your hosting services, of your availability, the richness of your knowledge, your adaptability – I came back for a third time. This trip was once again a discovery of other aspects of your country. You’ve made me discover civilizations I had never heard of. Your knowledge made me reflect on the establishment of religions, enriching my analysis on the stakes of Israeli politics”