Our Trip!

California & Kansas Delegates Weigh In  // August 1-17, 2009

From the Ibdaa Cultural Center in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, to the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, to Hebron, the Old City, Beit Ummar, the Shufat Refugee Camp and remnants of the Lifta village in Jerusalem, to Qalandia and Qalqilia, to the Al r’ad Center and the Balata Camp – we have been immersed in the sights and smells of Palestine and Israel over the past week. Check out the Connections and Journey sections of our blog. We have made many connections already – deep and intense between Palestine and Turtle Island/Aztlan; bringing together youth in refugee camps together who don’t have the opportunities to travel much; serendipitously introducing our bus driver/olive farmer to a Palestinian fair trade organization that could export his product; and much more that you will learn about upon our return home.


For now, we have noted the similarities between the Palestinian indigenous experience and ours in the United States and Mexico – the massive agricultural destruction; the burning of lands, wreckage and deaths that precede occupation; land disputes; court entanglement; settlements; people having to work in settlements because roads/walls have cut through their lands and intentionally destroyed communities, families, infrastructure, agriculture, businesses… This week has been about learning and connecting. The week that follows will be about strategies for how to survive and thrive. We worked with the youth in the Balata camp to set up a blog to share their stories in Arabic: www.balatacamp1948.wordpress.com and with youth in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp to share their photos: www.tadamon194.wordpress.com. More to come!

5 responses to “Our Trip!

  1. Salaams, thank you for all the important work you are doing. Please take all my love & strength and give it to our brothers and sisters there. Big hug to Shadi & Ras, Proud of you Obasi. Safar Wanaag.
    love, love, love, Barni

  2. So happy to see you all are safe and wasted no time making important connections.how awesome and life changing it is to gain introspect into the commonalities between Natives and people of Palestine. What an impact this will have on the lives of the youth on this journey. This is truly the way to raise the conciousness of our future leaders. Sending my love to Ras and Shadi and all the wonderful folks who made this trip possible, you all are heroes and real mentors and for the rest of your lives, you will be remembered for the gift you gave these youth.come home safe!

  3. awesome project. wishing you all the best on it.

    would love to speak with you about making connections with indigenous folks here in australia.

    ’nuff love from yet another colonial state,


  4. So glad you all made it safely. Wishing you much blessings and insight on the journey. I look forward to seeing your images and footage of the experience. Peace and Love…Miss Idris

  5. Thank you for sharing your reflections! Much love from NYC to all in the delegation. I hope the experience has been powerful and fulfilling for everyone involved. All the best in the remaining time, and I look forward to hearing more all about it. Ma’salama, A

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