Although East Jerusalem is a capital of Palestinian Authority, Ramallah settled around 30km north from the Holy City functions as Palestinian administrative center.
Main square of the city center of Ramallah
It is a ‘bubble’ in the Palestinian reality – the most liberal city of all; you often see women not wearing hijabs, uncovered hair don’t attract attention in the streets, and buying beer is not a problem like elsewhere. Prices are very high here, including real estate and living expanses. We were told by one of the Ramallah citizens that one of the reasons for increase of real estate prices was corruption among officials who bought properties cheap but offered them back on the market for much higher prices.
We decided to visit Ramallah for one day. Raquel, Spanish journalist who had visited us in Al Jiftlik invited us to her flat. Although we planned to stay there only for one night, unexpectedly we both got sick and had to extend our visit to 3 days! Anyway, the time was not wasted since we learned a lot about the city from Raquel and her flatmates – international journalists and documentalists.
With Puri and Raquel
Although it is hard to get by for an average citizen, you can find a lot of hotels and luxurious villas used by embassies or NGOs, who seem to have quite big budgets being spend for their own operating costs and salaries, instead for real needs of the Palestinians. As we heard some of them are not free from corruption too…
An office of Ma’an – on of the NGOs working for Palestine
One of the houses in villas district in Ramallah