PNN Exclusive/By: Zineb Mokrani and Angela Cartagena – The young Palestinian Americans who arrived on Monday in Bethlehem were welcomed in Aida Refugee Camp on Tuesday by a performance of the Boy Scouts, further highlighting the importance of their visit for the Palestinians.
A resident of Aida himself, he told them about the creation of the camp in 1950, meant at first, along with the 84 other refugee camps all around Palestine, as a temporary facility until they could be relocated, the growth of its population, and the worsening of the living conditions there.
He also told them about the richness of the culture in the camp, as it brought together at its birth Palestinians from various backgrounds such as farmers, employees, wealthy and poor people. The camp is now a mixture of these different experiences which have one common ground: the oppression from the Israeli occupant.
Karim took the group to the entry of the camp where an arch topped by a key where the words “Not for Sale” are inscribed stands, representing the idea of going back home, and emphasizing the right to have a home to go back to.
The participants then walked to the separation wall to leave a permanent trace of their visit and draw their own interpretation of the suffering of Palestine.
The visit ended with a convivial dinner prepared by the women of the camp. The “Know your Heritage” members enjoyed a traditional Palestinian dish, the Maftoul.