06 November 2011

D-20 Nablus

Yesterday, a day tour to Nablus was organised by the chess federation for my husband (who arrived on Friday) and I.

We went there accompanied by Diya, and met the secretary of the Federation Jiyad.

Once again, they showed how generous they are: it is really amazing! It was impossible for us to pay anything and we had to fight hard even to be able to pay for our souvenirs gifts! It almost made us uncomfortable as we are the one coming from Europe; however, for them, it was something really natural and there
was nothing to discuss. When we were trying to pay,
the sellers were systematically refusing our money because they got the orders from Jiyad in Arabic not to. They were explaining "You visit us in Palestine, of course you don't pay! Melissa is like our sister, and now Tim you are in the family too". hahaha

Nablus has a lot to offer to tourists: there are some archaeological ruins from 2000 before JC, and the old city is very charming: little streets and souk.

We got so much food (forced by the Palestinians) it became ridiculous ! But it was delicious ;)

Nablus and Ramallah were both full of people as everybody was coming to the city to get prepared with new dresses and a lot of sweets. Indeed, they are all on holidays for 4 days, from today on. Therefore, the youth centers will be closed and I won't be able to teach this week in Jerusalem. I will take this opportunity to travel around Palestine with my husband.

D- 18 and 19 Last days in Qattana

Thursday arrived, with the last training in Qattana.

The beginners have reached a basic level and the strongest girls have been working really hard during this week.

Diya and I are hoping we could arrange an exchange with a club outside of Palestine, for them to travel and compete with girls from another country. It will certainly help them improving: competition, new opponents, new training.

As we have an inauguration on the 10th of November, I saved the medals for this special occasion. We took anyway a few pictures, here is one with the advanced level (and Narmine, the little brother who wanted to appear here).

As usual Diya was kind enough to take the time and make me tour as much as possible his little village, and I really appreciate him for that.

We went to a kinder garden so I could meet the director and her daughter (another chess player, but with exams this week!) and visit the place: it is not really modern as they are lacking financial help, but kids are having a lot of fun :)

Diya also showed me the water "hole" as he called it: anyone from the village can go and take some water when missing in his family. It is mountain water. Every two minutes, a new person is coming with some barrel to fill.

On Friday, I could visit another holy land: the place where Jesus has been seen 2 days after his death. I got quite annoyed when the guide started to be religiously pushy with "God" and told me I should think more about it, as one day, I will be in front of God for the judgement and it will be too late.