Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm staying in the volunteers' apartment at the Hope Flowers school in a village outside of Bethlehem. Palden is the sole resident, and as I got out of the taxi, I wondered, how can he live out on the edge of nowhere? (it's easy to think this at night when you can't see anything) Then I realized that people asked me the same question, and I just think, "but this is the center of the world." Everyone's place is the place to be. Palden told me to be ready to hear the Palestinian national anthem blaring from below at 8am. I told him I also live above a school, and will undoubtedly sleep through it (it's 2:05 right now). But I think I'll set my alarm to 7:55 so I can watch the students from 5 stories up...and go back to bed.

Bilādī bilādī
Bilādī yā arḍī yā arḍ al-judūd
Fidā'ī Fidā'ī
Fidā'ī yā shaʿbī yā shaʿb al-khulūd

My country, my country
My country, my land, land of my ancestors
My redemption, my redemption
My redemption, my people, people of eternity

I thought Hope Flowers was a small operation. This is a very large school. I'll take pictures tomorrow. Palden and I have been drinking tea and talking about life in Palestine and the history of the school. It's a fascinating and disturbing story. But now it's time to sleep. Until the Fida'i.