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Finding Our Way Around Jerusalem

Written by Savannah Moore, 2014 Middle East: Behind the Headlines.
Read Savannah’s personal blog at www.savannahsadventuresinisrael.wordpress.com.

Wow, we’ve been on the ground for just a little bit over a week and there’s a lot to share already! It has truly been an amazing and eye-opening time. Our program kicked off with an orientation to familiarize ourselves with Jerusalem. We set out for Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum and it was a very intense experience. There were lots of people there and the museum was very informative and thorough. It was difficult to be in there, especially surrounded by so many people whose family members were directly affected by the Holocaust. It was very heartbreaking and very powerful. We had the opportunity to roam around the Old City with a local guide and friend who told us some of the history of the conflict between Palestine and Israel. We saw the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall, went through the three quarters: Arab, Jewish, and Christian, and visited the place where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected. It’s just incredible to be in such an important and holy place, instead of learning all this from a book.

Dome of the Rock
 After setting the context, tone, and expectations for our next few weeks here in the Middle East, we delved right into our partnerships. We met with Rabbis for Human Rights and had the opportunity to learn about what they are doing to help the people in this region. Some of their initiatives include an olive tree campaign in which they ensure the rights of thousands of Palestinians to plant, harvest, and prune their olive trees in areas where settlers and/or Israeli security forces previously denied that right. RHR also advocates on behalf of the Jahalin Bedouin, for campaigns against the eviction of the Sumarin family in Silwan and defends villages against demolition. Needless to say, they are a really great organization and we were very grateful to have met and worked with them. There’s been a lot to take in and we are excited for our first outdoor adventure in the Negev Desert.

Make sure to come back for more updates about our camping trip! Til next time, Savannah Moore 2014 Middle East: Behind the Headlines

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