Every Sunday and Tuesday evening, I have Arabic lessons with an amazing teacher named Fawaz. I’m an absolute beginner at Arabic so class with him is always challenging, but he is incredibly patient and kind. When he mentioned a few weeks ago that he wanted to bring his Tuesday Arabic students to his farm on the outskirts of Nablus, I was really excited to spend some time talking with him and some of the other interns outside of our professional setting.
Fawaz picked us up after work last Tuesday and drove us out to his farm after stopping at a convenience store and calling out from the car window for the store clerk to bring a bottle of 7Up to him. (I can’t get over the fact that this is seen as totally normal in Palestine and, if I did this back home in the United States, I’d be laughed at for not just walking into the store.)
When we arrived at the farm, we sat and drank our 7Up, ate cookies and chatted about our experience in Palestine so far. I really enjoyed hearing more about his family and his travels abroad. Fawaz was in America in the 1980s and talked about the hit songs that were playing in the discos at the time and we all laughed when he sang a line from “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang! He then took us for a walk around the farm where he grows vegetables and some fruits and he taught us the names for all of them (and I was concentrating so hard on not stepping on vegetables that I already forgot most of the names).
One of my favourite parts of the evening was the drive we took to one of the highest points in Nablus where we had a fantastic view of the city and a gorgeous pink sunset. The views in Nablus never cease to amaze me. I often sit on the balcony staring at the lights of the city and think about how lucky I am to live here and have the opportunity to meet wonderful people, like Fawaz.
After four weeks in Nablus I already know I will miss this place terribly when I leave. I look forward to the rest of my time here. I am eager to spend more time getting to know Palestine and its people.
Megan is a summer intern at TYO Nablus.