Saturday, August 11, 2007

1 -Arrival -Jenin

I arrived yesterday morning to tel Aviv (by flight to my big disappointment, if you also trying to avoid flying, there are people who has managed to enter Israel by ferry from Cyprus and through Syria this summer!). The customs searched me and my bags but hardly asked any questions so I didn't have any problems at all to enter.

After one night in Al-quads/Jerusalem I'm now in Jenin, the city which is twinning with Nottingham, Uk. I only passed one checkpoint, Kalandiya between Jerusalem and Ramallah. They checked people's id but we didn't have to get out of the bus.

I'm staying at the Jenin Creative Cultural Centre, founded in 2005, where Yousef (who works here) met me.
A summer camp for the children has been going on for one week and will continue at least one more. It is open for both the children in the refugee camp and the rest of Jenin. Between 10 to
120 children come every day depending on the programme.

During the summer a food production project for women has been set up. It has been going on for one month and if they get more money from the Olof Palme Centre in Sweden who sponsor it, it will continue after the summer camp is finsihed
About 25 women have been involved making jam from fruits and vegetables from the local farmers. Some women come from villages behind the wall (on the "Israeli side"), and many of them have difficult economic situation. Some of them have lost their houspants and they have to support their families on their own.
The aim of the project is that the women will become economic independent, which is the first step to make it impossible to improve life in other ways. At the same time it makes the Jenin City less independent from Israel as they produce food from their local farmers and sell in their locla shops.
The unemployment in Jenin is estimated to be 65-70% so projects like these are really important.

It seems to be fairly calm here even though the military enter the city regularly. Most times they just drive around and shoot in the air, to create a feeling of unsecurity.
Yousef send his greetings to all people in Malmo and Nottingham, and thanks for all support.
Hisham says hello to the people in Malmo, especially the ones who were here in July.
C u another day.

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