The past few weeks have essentially consisted of me finishing up interviews with amazing people, spending time with friends, and living in a state of denial about my departure. Eventually, I had to just call my hosts in Haifa and say “I’m coming on this day to stay the night before going to the border.” Otherwise, I don’t think I was ever going to make myself leave Ramallah. I think I delayed my trip at least 4 separate times.

Obviously, no experience or trip is perfect. There were bumps along the road and there is plenty I didn’t get a chance to do or see (the most obvious being that I was 2 hours from unreachable family in Gaza). But in general, this trip wasn’t about a checklist that needed to be strenuously followed. It was about cherishing whatever moments I was blessed enough to have. And to be sure, I have been blessed with a plethora of amazing moments and people who have made sure that it was everything that it could be.

I am grateful beyond measure to everyone who was a part of this summer, whether it was a passing 5 minute introduction or a daily presence. You have all enriched my life beyond measure and you helped give me something I wasn’t sure I would ever get – the chance to be Palestinian in Palestine.

So, from the bottom of my heart – thank you for whatever  role, big or small, that you played.
I will be back and I will see you soon.
That is a promise.

I will leave to Amman from the Galilee tomorrow morning, inshAllah.
And to the US 3 days after – just enough time in Amman to make me ready to leave it.


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