Today’s post comes from US to West Bank and Israel delegate Noelani Sallings, who is President of Democratic Activists for Women Now (DAWN).
I have a deep affection for both the Palestinian people and the Israeli people. As I sit here in the airport in Philadelphia I am overcome with a deep sense of loss. It is the same raw feeling you have when you leave or lose something that you love.
I have fallen in love with the Middle East. It is not a love that is going to disappear anytime soon. It might have been the company that we kept, or the people I was traveling with, but the loss I am feeling is fresh and new.
Everyone that we met in Palestine was warm and caring. There was never a time that I went unfed or felt uncomfortable. They were willing to answer every single question we put on the table and took the time to show us why they love where they live.
On the Israel side, every person we met with was a complete pleasure. They were eager to show us their beautiful country, their rich history and their delicious food. The adoration they had for their country and their people was so deep and strong, I could not help but share it with them.
I went into this trip feeling a sense of deep confusion and I can tell you that confusion still exists, however it is not as a result of not understanding the situation on both sides. I have a cleared understanding of the conflict from both sides, though the complexity of the conflict remains and unfortunately cannot be solved by a single visit.
My hope is that there is peace soon for the sake of both regions. It would be a shame to lose either of them. I can’t wait to visit again!