Welcome to Palestine by Juana Hafi

When I met my Cypriot friends, after many hours of waiting for them to get out from the Israeli check point then to reach Ramallah, it was such a nice feeling to see them arrive, and in the same time I was so sad because they had to wait for many hours in the border .
We were then starting our culture exchange program, on the 2th of November .

During our program in Palestine with the Cypriot group I realized that we have a lot of in common between each other . we got the chance to talk, argue, listen, respect, laugh and love all at the same time. This experience opened my eyes about others, I got the chance to know more about the history of Cyprus, and even though it was so complicated at the beginning to understand, then I started to explain it to my Palestinian friends with my Cypriot friends .

After having a big discussion with the organizers at some point during the trip, some of my Cypriot friends told me they are shocked that we have a strong Palestinian females' voice, which gave them the chance to see and discover new things about Palestinians.

We had a tour in the West Bank, we visited Nablus, Jericho, Jenin, Bethlehem, Hebron and our stay was in Ramallah , we walked in the old cities streets, we passed from the check points all together ,we saw the Israeli settlements, we saw the separation wall, and we lived through the same experience for 10 days with fun and challenging moments.

During our culture exchange program we also went to a Palestinian concert , and we had a culture night and all together danced our Palestinian traditional dance ( Dabkha ) and our Cypriot friends join us. Itt was so fun!

We visited the Palestinian Prime Minister DR Salam Fayyad, where Adil from the Cypriot delegation and myself represented the group, and we talked about the situation in Palestine with the Prime Minister.

It was an unforgettable experience, I'm holding my experience with me, I really feel like I made a change by being part of this program, because I learnt a lot from my Cypriot friends. l knew more about their culture, history, food, social and political life and I will pass my experience and what I've learned to my friends.

I am always ready to host Cypriot delegations in Palestine :):)

Thank you Youth Power for giving me the chance to meet such a great friends