We arrived at Ben Guerin airport at 3.30AM anticipating what we were hoping would be a successful research trip. As soon as we stepped of the plane we were immediately pulled aside by a member of staff working at the airport he asked for our passports and then began to question us on our reasons for visiting Israel. After about five minutes of questioning he allowed us to carry on and walked towards the area where we would collect our luggage before that we had to pass through the border control and collect our visas to the country I managed to pass through relatively easily however Jay and Antonia had a more difficult time passing through. We were all through the border two hours later where we met our driver Rami who was hired by the ATG (Alternative Tourism Group) to drive us two and from our accommodation. As we drove through the early morning the sun was rising and this gave us a great chance to see Israel and Palestine in a beautiful way as the light shun upon the vast amounts of land the buildings gleamed and sparkled as the sun reflected off of their white walls many of the structures in Israel and Palestine were white or cream coloured which immediately reminded me of Italy and Mussolini and got me thinking as to whether the same strong connotations on the concept of power was being expressed here through the use of white everywhere. We arrived at our accommodation at around 6.00AM where we rested for a couple of hours and then took a walk around the area of Beitshour. We walked to the ATG building in the town centre and met Dafer who ran the organisation. He had managed to get us the opportunity to speak to a class of Palestinian scout children in the school that afternoon which was a great experience and gave us the opportunity to gather some great data in reference to Reimagining Palestine as we had set up a small task of asking the children to draw their own interpretations of Palestine, Many of the children drew the Palestinian flag as a symbol of their own identity as well as numerous pictures featuring hobbies and schools. We were made aware of numerous events that were happening on that evening such as a professional basketball match going on between the top two teams in Palestine as well as a Jazz concert that was being held in Bethlehem. We decided to attend the basketball match and in doing so we created a derive between the three of us which was for the three of us to make separate ways to the basketball game and on the way to take a photo showing a form globalisation within Palestine and the first one at the game with the photo would be the winner. Subsequently I was the winner taking a photo of KFC in the process.
Today we had two interviews organised in Ramallah with Mohamed Negid and Amar Shamarli. Before meeting them we had a two hour car journey to Ramallah. We had to catch a shared mini bus from the bus garage in Bethlehem where it cost 20 shekels each one way to Ramallah. The journey was a very scenic route as we winded our way up numerous mountains in the desert. When we finally arrived it was a different experience to what we saw before with it being a busy vibrant cramped city with many tall buildings, yellow taxis an bright lights it reminded me of being in the ‘big apple’ in NewYork. We met Mohamed Negid first by the bus garage where he tooks us to a cafe on one of the side streets of the city. Mohamed Negid is a professional music composer he plays the flute and he gave us an insite into his profession as well as his life. We spent around an hour and a half to two hours speaking with him. We were given a lift to the location of our next interview which was also at a cafe just on the other side of town. This interview was with Amar shamarli who is a famous artist who has created and sold numerous famous posters and pieces of artwork
Today had a day out In Hebron planned we started iff by heading out at 11am to the ATG (Alternative Tourism Group) to briefly say hello to Daffer and to book a taxi to Bethlehem. Once we arrived at Bethlehem we were able to catch a mini bus to Hebron which took around 35 minuets and cost 9 shekels. We had heard and researched that in some of the streets within Hebron the Jewish and the Muslims had to walk on separate sides of the street. We arrived at heron and approximately 12.30 we made our way towards the old city of Hebron. As we walked through the large crowds of people it was clear to see the difference in this place in comparison to places like Jerusalem and bietrsohour with many of the buildings crammed close together with some buildings be left unfinished. I noticed that one of the buildings had been re-built using old clay bottles as bricks. We then made our way through the narrow streets of the old city market towards Abrahams mosque where we went inside and had a chance to see the burial site.