Part V - Refugee camp, legendary leader & Oktoberfest

September 25, 2018

For breakfast, an excellent home-made Shakshuka, traditional dish of the whole Middle-East, this variant with tomatoes, onions, Tahini, eggs and parsley.

Then, we drive to the next stage of our journey through the Palestinian Territories: A refugee camp in East Jerusalem.

After passing the check point (no control, we're leaving Israeli controlled territory, they don't care...), we're in the refugee camp. At first sight, there is not much difference between a "normal" Palestinian district and a refugee camp, except for the smell in the streets.

Nobody is taking responsibility for the garbage collection, neither the Israeli from Jerusalem nor the Palestinians from Ramallah. Therefore, everything is just put under a porch and burned when it's too full (with 20 tons of garbage a day it's rapidly full...). You can imagine the stench and the resulting hygiene problems!

First we visit a youth care center which try to help the children to keep off the street and avoid the spiral of violence and drugs. To do so, they are organizing various activities like sport and music. Music, especially hip-hop, is really important to help the children expressing their feelings about the life in the refugee camp.

 

One of the staff in charge of music tell us about his work in the recording studio and then he guides us through a part of the camp.

For the inhabitants, the biggest problem of everyday life is the promiscuity. The houses are so close to each other, you have almost no intimacy and when the emotions are running high, violence is often seen as the only solution.

Then, we leave the refugee camp from the Palestinian side and drive to Ramallah, the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority.

There, we visit the Yasser Arafat Museum. It's really interesting and not only dedicated to the historic leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Actually, it's more a museum about the Palestinian cause and the evolution of their situation since the beginning of the 20th century. We have 2 hours there, but it's not enough, we could spend there at least half a day!

After that, we make a short visit to the old town of Ramallah and drive then to our final destination today, Taybeh. This village about 12 northeast of Ramallah is home to a Palestinian brewery, one of the pioneer microbrewery in the region.

 

Today is Taybeh Oktoberfest at the factory site and it's pretty crowded! The beer is very tasty, especially their Double IPA and the atmosphere is cool with various live acts. I wouldn't have imagine going to an Oktoberfest in Palestine!

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