From the mouths of babes.

We had three children who did the trip to Palestine with us. Archie aged 9 was asked for school to do a little write up about his trip so I thought it would be interesting to ask the other children too, Emily and Ameen, both aged 12.

Obviously, what they knew about the situation out there was far removed from what we had learned and their experiences were different to ours, but it was interesting seeing the trip through the eyes of a child.

All three reports are written entirely by the children without any adult intervention (although Emily’s I did cut down a little as it was very long.)

Thanks guys I think your parents will be very proud of you and I most certainly am for the way you were in Palestine. These three children learnt so much and were brilliant and were a valuable asset to us all there.

Hello I’m Archie and I’m 9 yrs old. I went on holiday with my mum and her friends to Palestine.
When we went through the Israeli checkpoint to get into Palestine it took a long time- I was hot and bothered and it was boring.When we all went out somewhere we saw lots of soldiers with guns but I wasn’t scared of them because I didn’t think they would hurt me because i’m a child. Some of the soldiers seemed nice and said thank you and smiled when the looked at my passport.I think they looked at my passport because it was their job.

The wall is massive with awesome graffiti but I was so shocked how big it was, it would of been really ugly without the Graffiti.It’s stupid to put it there.

I wasn’t really bothered about seeing where baby Jesus was born because I don’t believe in him but I had to go! When we went to Jerusalem Jewish religious men with stupid hats on walked past us really fast. They looked stupid and got in our way.

Some of the women at the airport covered all their faces up and it looked weird and they looked like burglars with balaclavas on- i didn’t like it.

The village Beit Kahil we stayed in was really fun.I liked playing with the kids and i made lots of friends. When we left I was sad because I had to leave my freinds behind.

I didn’t like the food in Palestine it was horrible but it was ok if we went on a bus to eat kebabs. They have separate girls and boys schools – I wish we had them because I don’t like girls.

I want to go back to Palestine to see my friends but not when it’s too hot.

Ameen aged 12.

  • My Trip To Palestine was one of the best holidays of my life because it was fun and educational at the same time. I went to some amazing places like the dome of the rock , Al-Asqa mosque and the dead sea which was the 2nd best trip in my time in Palestine.
    my best moment was when we went to yaffa because when we took Majid (disabled 11 year old) and took him to to the sea.It was his first time to the sea it was first time to the sea and he is about the same age as me and the look on his face was unbeatable.i think the occupation is horrible because the Palestinians deserve to live like us normal people and they deserve to go to places like yaffa and the dead sea but they can’t because the israeli checkpoint make it impossible to move around their own country.

    that was my first time in Palestine and it was brillant so i can,t wait to go again.

    Emily.

    My name is Emily, I am 12 and in the summer holidays I went to Palestine. At first I had no idea what I had let myself in for, I thought it would be a place where I would meet people who are less fortunate than ourselves and I could educate them in basic subjects (counting to 20,singing songs, learning the alphabet etc), but when I arrived there, it was completely different…

    We got to the border and there were giant queues, where Muslim people were being taken away for questioning or searching. Some people in our group were questioned for example; one of the ladies called Lisa was asked where she was going, who she was travelling with and why she was going. And another lady called Jo was asked where she was from because she had brown hair and Italian looking eyes., (the women were more aggresive than the men) When Jo was asked what her father and grandfathers names were, Jo stumbled a bit, but she said the names, and the woman behind the desk said “You weren’t very quick to answer there!” she had only a few seconds to answer and she was under a lot of pressure.

    Fast forward a few hours and we arrived at Beit Kahil, a village in Palestine with a population of six thousand people. As I got out of the minibus, a mass of small children ran up to me and we were led down to our house. The next day we got a taxi to Hebron, a town about ten minutes away to see the old shops that had been destroyed and boarded up by the Israeli soldiers. There was a hairdressers that had bullet holes in, the doors had metal bars welded to them to stop people getting back in. The windows were smashed and there was rubbish everywhere, it looked like a scene from a natural disaster movie. It was sad when I saw children who lived above the damaged shops, looking out the windows at us walking by. The worst part about that day was seeing a soldier with a machine gun longer than my arm, someone from our group started chatting to him. He was twenty one years old and I started crying because I heard him click his gun and I had to walk away. It frightened me. People think that it’s just a gun, but when you’re two meters away from one, it’s scary.

     I also went to the Wailing Wall, the main place of worship for Jews. It was a Friday which is the special day for prayer and I felt very uneasy. It seemed as if they were brainwashed into praying. We were in the women’s section but I did have a peek over the separator to see the men dancing and singing. Some people were rocking back and forth and some were swaying, I stood next to a woman who was crying into her Torah. I also saw little notes inside the wall, they were scrolls with prayers on them, after a certain amount of time, they burn the notes so the prayers go to their God. 

    I caught a glimpse of the Dome of the Rock, but I wasn’t allowed in because I’m not Muslim, it looked very pretty from where I was standing though. 

    Back in the alley, we were taken down to a very poor house. To get to it, you had to climb down rocks and it was really dusty, the children who lived there saw us at the door and we had to wait a few minutes for them to open the lock which was a piece of string wrapped round. When we got in, we saw a double bed mattress, that was so dirty you wouldn’t put a dog on it. The mattress had to fit eight children and a mum on, there was no duvet or pillows, no carpet, no cooker or lights. This was so bad, and we had to do something about it. So we got some buckets of paint donated to us from the local restaurant, and we painted the small kitchen, front hall, and two large rooms used for the bedroom and living room. It completely changed the look of the house, and I got covered in paint too! The next day I went with my mum and two of the other ladies to the shops to buy some clothes and toys for the children and they were so happy when we gave them to them. We washed the children using solar showers and put them in their new clothes and they loved it (apart from the baby who cried all the way through). I made lots of friends in Palestine, I hope to go again and see them, Ahmed (Ronaldo <3) Layla, Usef, Mays, Rafika, Mohammed (x5), Maged Abid, Basil, Renna, and Faisar. There were so many children there I cant remember all their names, but those are the ones I can remember because they were my favourite.

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About shakingtheshadowsfromtheolivetrees

I have a massive case of wanderlust and plan to see as much of this beautiful planet as I can before I die. I love Egypt, which gave me my first taster of Arabic culture, since then I have travelled to a few Arabic-speaking countries. My idea of a nightmare is an all inclusive 5* hotel resort. I much prefer to stay in basic accommodation in amongst the locals. Some of the best food I have eaten has been street food...and incidentally some of the worst has been in a 5*hotel. This year has given me the opportunity to visit Palestine, a place I loved to read about when I was younger in my children's bible. I am sure it isn't going to disappoint.
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