Students’ and Teachers’ Visit to Israel & Palestine
7 – 16 February 2013
This year, we were delighted to be able to organise another visit to Israel and Palestine involving 8 students from two of our participant schools, the Lycee Francais d’Irlande (LFI) and St. Kilian’s German School, both located in Dublin.
There were 4 nationalities represented in the student group: France (4); Ireland (1); Italy (2) Poland (1).
This was our 2013 EU Year of Citizens Team:
LYCEE FRANCAIS D’IRLANDE (FRENCH SCHOOL) – Seconde Year (10th Grade)
- Florent CAYER-BARRIOZ
- Sarah KOBBITE
- Alexia MAGADOUX
- Benjamin PARMANTIER
ST. KILIAN’S DEUTSCHE SCHULE (GERMAN SCHOOL) – Transition Year (10th Grade)
- Catey CLARKSON
- Gabriele MANSOLDO
- Martino MANSOLDO
- Norbert REBOW
We were also very privileged to have the accompanying support of:
- Mme Sarah Magadoux, Principal of the LFI
- Ms Elisabeth O’Brien, Deputy Principal of St. Kilian’s
We were able to provide a busy and exciting programme, similar to the format of trip in previous years.
The 2013 visit programme can be viewed here.
Our visiting students were well prepared, not only because of the weekly classes in the SAB school year programme, but also because they had worked on setting our their own personal aims for the visit and with set questions they wanted to ask their Israeli and Palestinian peers.
The discussion sessions with the Israeli and Palestinian school groups in Jerusalem and Hebron were very valuable opportunities for all students to share information, views and feelings on conflict issues and realities as well as the core project concepts: human rights, interdependence and conflict transformation.
Our visiting group also facilitated an exchange of messages between the Israeli and Palestinian groups which served as a means to further mutual awareness and understanding.
As with previous years also, we endeavoured to visit cultural and religious sites, the typical thoroughfares, sites that reflected conflict realities and issues …and to meet and mix with the Israeli and Palestinian students outside school hours. There wasn’t much time out for shopping… and just enough time to sit down and eat! Nobody complained. There was so much going on to feed the senses and the soul.
We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to the following schools along with their students, teachers and principals for their kind and warm support. We will always cherish your generosity of spirit. It is you who we came to listen to and learn from.
- Ha Nissui School (10th Grade)
- Hebrew University Secondary School ( 9th Grade and 10th Grade)
- Al Mazania Girls’ School (10th Grade)
- Al Qawasmeh Girls’ School (10th Grade)
- Al Hussein Boys’ School (11th Grade)
- University Graduates Union Boys’ School (10th Grade)
Our warm gratitude too to our dear friend Mr. Adli Daana, Director of our partner organisation in Hebron, the International Palestinian Youth League for his continued support and help in making sure our programme in Hebron went ahead as planned.
We would also like to sincerely thank Ms Dympna Hayes, the Irish Government Representative to the Palestinian Authority, for meeting our group, as well as arranging for her Programme Advisor, Mr. Emil Makhlouf to accompany us to the schools in Hebron. These gestures were very much appreciated.
Our big thanks to our cameraman (Big) Ben Jones of Hooptedoodle Films. We recruited him because of his experience in working on themes of social justice. He also showed that he has that special knack in connecting with young people and gained many fans along the way!
We are looking forward to viewing the finished product, a 52-minute film which will serve not only as a precious souvenir, but also a a powerful promotional tool and learning resource for the SAB programme.
Finally, our special thanks to each of the students of the SAB visiting group. You each showed how committed you were to learn and share, to support each other and to appreciate the views and feelings of the young people you met on both sides of the wall/fence.
You made contact and went the extra miles to engage with people on the ground. You crossed the borders and experienced in one week what most young Israelis and Palestinians cannot or do not experience. Your experiences are quite exceptional, if not unique.
Part 2 is telling the story back home, spreading the awareness and doing your part to create a more just, equal and peaceful world.
The reports below from each of the students are their personal contributions to the learning process:
“I don’t really know where to begin to be honest… Words can’t really describe effectively the impact that the trip to Israel and Palestine actually had on me. Many people viewed it as simply a holiday or time off, but for me it was something so much more than that. Not only was it educational and inspiring but it opened my eyes to a world, and things that happen in the world, that I never would have experienced had I not gone there.”
“This was a trip like no other. Not only did it entail crossing the whole of Europe and beyond, it also stimulated the senses and pulled at feelings. I have to say again, even if you, dear reader think you understand the full extent of this experience, you do not. To understand you must see the country for yourself and not only that, you must keep your eyes open and go beyond what the typical tourist or pilgrim does…”