The Excellence Center in Palestine
The Excellence Center in Palestine Programs
Many exciting opportunities are waiting just for you in Palestine! You can do volunteer work, learn Arabic and live the daily life of an ordinary Palestinian. The Excellence...
The Excellence Center in Palestine Reviews
First journey to Palestine
Submitted by Emmy - Berlin Germany | March 22, 2017
My name is Emmy. Next year, I am also going to attempt the courses of Conflict Studies. With my study my interest was more focused on the religion of Islam and the Middle East culture. How typical it could possibly sound, I am a fervent believer that every one should be treated with respect and integrity no matter what his religion, origin or thoughts are.
The choice of Palestine as first journey to a new world felt directly right for me. As much I could tell or remember from my classes, nothing compares with the experience self of meeting a culture, people and a country. The Excellence Center proposed a volunteering of helping Palestinians of every age with their English in exchange of the guarantee life experience.
The reason I chose for the Excellence Center is also because I am more than aware of the chances I have as a young woman born and raised in a context where everything is just a matter of choosing between the opportunities. I am thankful everyday that I can attempt classes and learn.
I wanted to share the knowledge I had right chance in Palestine and Hebron, people are very friendly, food is tasty and the city is safe as a women to travel. I could only admit that this experience taught me more lessons than I gave.
Living in Hebron
Submitted by Eric - United Kingdom | March 14, 2017
As a general rule of thumb, the further you move east, the less things make sense. However, and this is important, it works, and the more you engage yourself with the culture, it’ll start to make sense to you too. For example, it is considered rude to eat straight away after you’ve been served; the opposite is true in Arabic culture. In Hebron, there are no pedestrian crossings, you just walk across the road wherever seems appropriate and cars will stop for you. Learning these idiosyncrasies and cultural differences is important and you must be open, flexible, and adaptable to these cultural norms in Palestine.
Palestinians are always willing to talk: Strangers in the street, vendors and shop owners. It’s a great opportunity to practice their English and your Arabic. Coffee, tea, cigarettes and shisha are consumed in vast quantities, perhaps to offset the cultural ban on Alcohol in the city. If you’re hankering for a drink, you can head to Bethlehem. To be honest, if no one else around you is consuming alcohol you’ll get used to it pretty quickly. It’s nice to take a day trip to Bethlehem and Jerusalem to see something different, or to see the occupied section of Hebron (do take precautions when you go to this section of the city).
I wish I could stay longer and I hope to back, but who knows!
My trip to Palestine
Submitted by Sara - Madrid Spain | March 12, 2017
My name is Sara, I'm from the north of Spain. Now I'm living in Madrid where I study Economy and International Relations at Rey Juan Carlos University. I'm very interested in the Middle East and I'd like to work here one day.
At the beginning of this month I lived with a host family in Tabaqa, Dura. I've lived there for two weeks and then I moved to another host family in Hebron. With my first family I was very happy, it was a big family and they lived in the same street so I was always having tea with my cousins or playing with the children outside, etc. However, one day my host father told me that I had to move to Hebron but I didn't expect that so it was difficult for me. My second host family is smaller, the parents are very young and they only have two sons, but I'm very happy too, they are very nice and I feel very comfortable with them.
I think that staying with a host family you receive a full immersion in the Palestinian culture and society. I arrived in the last week of Ramadan so I had a lot of Iftar meals, and the final party of Eidl; I was part of the Palestinian society for this week. I also went to two Palestinian parties where I danced and ate with the women. Here in Palestine it's easy to be involved in their culture because everybody invites you to their homes or their parties, Palestinian people are characterized for their hospitality.
I've been studying Arabic this last year at university and I arrived here knowing the letters and the numbers so I could read and write, this way is easier to learn. The problem is that the Arabic countries speak their own dialect and I learnt the formal Arabic that it's a little different. Arabic it's a difficult language and it requires time so I suggest to come here with a little notion of the language.
I saw here everything I read in the news and in my history books, but by myself. Actually it was my first motivation to come here, to know and see all what I was told about this country. In Hebron there are almost every day confrontations between the settlers and the locals and if you are interested you can learn and listen stories about people and about what happened since 1948, for me it was very interesting.
I have visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, the Dead Sea, Haifa, Acre and Ramallah, I've discovered the differences within this country and its people by travelling. So I recommend to visit the most you can and learn the most you can from this beautiful country.
Living in Hebron, Palestine
Submitted by Katy - Boston United States | January 29, 2017
Living in Hebron, I feel that I've gained a much more dynamic and nuanced understanding of the occupation and its political, cumy students and my observations of the H2 territories, I've learned so much more than I could have through my studies. I arrived here with no idea what to expect, but I've learned that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view. I'm sad to leave Palestine, but I feel now like the circle is complete and I know I'll return to the U.S. with a much deeper understanding of Palestinian life and I'm so gratefulltural and daily consequences. Through my conversations with my host family, my discussions with for the experiences and the friends that I've made
Study Arabic in Palestine
Submitted by Emily - Berlin Germany | January 11, 2017
My name is Emily and I'm from Germany. I studied Arabic at the Excellence Center in the city of Hebron. I chose to study in Palestine because I had visited the country a few years ago, while I was living in Jordan, and found it very friendly and welcoming.
Aside from my lessons, I visited some of the historical sites in Hebron and the area, and had a chance to experience the local culture and meet people.
This experience was a very beneficial to my Arabic skills and also enriching for me personally, since I was able to meet many different people and discover Palestinian culture.