Despite few Palestinian volunteers and taxi drivers we have met a few Bedouin men already who remaining still quite mysterious to us. Men are the ones who welcome us but most of them don’t speak English and don’t interact too much with internationals. The most religious ones cannot shake woman’s hand so Paulina stopped trying afraid of embarrassment. Volunteering girls can have their hair uncovered so Paulina is often more or less secretly observed with kind interest (however the rest of the body should be covered what Paulina was reminded of after working on the rooftop in too short T-shirt…).
All the Palestinian volunteers working with us are men and it is worthy to add here that friendship signs between Arabic men are quietly different from these shown inEurope. They often hug and hold by hands. Palestinian guys that we met up to now are quite gentle and soft, completely not fulfilling the macho stereotype we knew before.
They also laugh a lot and are very cheerful. Moreover, we rarely saw them showing negative emotions about the Israelis; they surprisingly don’t speak of revenge and hatred, but peace instead. Nevertheless, every one of them has a lot of stories to share about injustice suffered from the Israeli authority. We wonder what fraction of Palestinian society reveals such an attitude, maybe only English speakers who meet up and discuss with international volunteers…?
An example for a contrary attitude might be a young Palestinian who visited us and shared a dramatic story of his family. Five relatives of him were killed by Israeli soldiers. But the other family member took revenge with the suicide bombing attack killing five Israelis, what our guest quite proudly admitted. Scary and shocking, but true story of many pointless deaths. Recently we were also hitchhiking and were given a lift by three businessmen fromHebron. One of them spoke English so we were chatting all the way in a really nice atmosphere. He shared with us his believe that not a single country (even Arabic) supportsPalestinewhat he expressed as follows: “Everyone against us, only God with us”. At some point he also told us that he was just released from jail for financial supporting of Hamas. These sad confessions were in a strong contradiction with his smiling face. It seemed like he had a lot of faith in his God.
Despite of the language barrier we understand with Palestinian men surprisingly well and we feel comfortable and relaxed among them!