14 November 2011

D-25 The inauguration

Unfortunately, due to some personal issues, I had to stop the experience one week before the end. We therefore organised a little event on the 10th of November instead of the 18th with a meeting in 2 centers: Qattana and Deisha.

In the morning, the inauguration was planned to be in Qattana at 11h at the girls school.
All the little girls were there, accompanied by their parents.
Diya made a speech about the project, the children, and thanked me for being there. I received a few nice presents, and among them the Coran translated in French !
For my part, I also explained more about Peace and Sport and read the letter written by Kirsan Ilioumjinov
to represent the FIDE.

I gave a simul against 20 girls, with the strongest girls among them (4 palestinian champions in junior categories!), so it was not that easy for me, who has played only a few games these past years !
In the end, I won all my games and drew one with Wala, a teenager that had accommodated me into her house upon my arrival in Qattana.

Once the simul finished, I offered 3 medals to the best workers of the week: 2 for the best beginners Gazel and Waraf and 1 for the most motivated of the strongest level, Yara. She really impressed me all week long with her fastness to solve the tactic exercises.

In the afternoon, we headed to Bethlehem to meet with the children I had worked with during my first week in Palestine, at the Deisha Refugee Camp.
I was so glad to see them again and they were really happy to see me too. They all hugged me and took my contact details.

They had prepared a little speech for me said my Maysan in Arabic, and translated in English by Ahmed while offering me a nice palestinian handmade scarf.

I also spoke about Peace and Sport, and once again read the letter representing the FIDE.
Once the speeches over, we arranged a blitz game between Diya and I: these 5 minutes games are always very impressive for beginners.

 All the kids wanted to play with me afterwards, and I was pleased to see they kept on improving, with their bi weekly training with Rabea.

D-24 Meetings with 2 NGO

On Wednesday, I met Colin, the director of Jerusalem Suburbs Community, in charge of 2 centres in Jerusalem: Kfar Akeb and Dahiat El Sallam.

He explained me more about the way he works, the funds, and all the projects accomplished already.
 Both centres offer a wide range of activities for children as well as for adults: football, volley, petit tennis, chess, judo and all type of sports, as well as language lessons: English and Hebrew or art workshop.
He is working with the ministry of transports to arrange a better connection for these areas to the city centre.
Last year, he managed to open an hospital as the only things they had before were some nurseries.

Later in the day, I met the director of another NGO called Care Palestine. I had already met Dr Ghassan two weeks ago, as he is our main collaborator with the 3 centres I have been in: Shiraa in Bethlehem, Al-Mahawer in Hebron and Qattana Sports Club in Qattana.
I gave him a full report about my experience in the centres, and he told me about his future projects for chess in Palestine.
He would like to set up a full training for educators of the National Education for them to then be able to teach their students at school.

D-21, 22, 23 days off

The holidays has come for the Arabic population and for me too by the way :)

We took this opportunity to visit Jericho, the lowest city on earth, but also the oldest inhabited. From Jericho, we went to the Dead See and experienced the floating experience as well as the mud one !

We then took the time to visit Jerusalem, a beautiful city even if you can feel the tension with many areas going from an Israeli neighbourhood to a Palestinian one.
They also have different buses and it is absolutely out of question for a Palestinian to enter an Israeli bus and vice-versa.