Brown. White. Green. Yellow-gold. Black.

Those are the colors that come to mind.

Desert. Rolling hills. White buildings – so many white buildings. Dirt roads. High walls. Olive trees. Fences. Shacks.

Those are the images of the landscape that are still fresh in my memory.

Flies. Crowded cars on crowded streets. Yelling. Rocks. Guns – very big, very loaded guns. Green military clothing. White and black scarves.

Those are the sounds and sights that brought fear and uneasiness to my soul.

I have only kissed the ground – literally – in one place on this earth. That would be the Laguardia airport in New York. I had arrived back to my homeland of the United States after spending 6 weeks in Israel and Palestine.

I had zero desire whatsoever to return to that land. Ever.

The year was 1999.

Recently, a movie was released about the plight of the Palestinians. It is called Miral and just from this interview with the director, it is a “must see” for someone like me.


at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

When I left the Middle East I was deeply confused and was not “pro” either the Israeli or the Palestinian movement. I wanted to be “pro PEACE” for both sides of the conflict. I had seen wrongs and hurts done from both people groups and was definitely not in favor of the apartheid I had witnessed against the Palestinian people.

Sometimes I spot a news story about the region, my ears perk up and then my mind gets all “muddled” again. My brow furrows and I start to grumble to myself.

It helps to look at the scrapbook I made from that time. I think it took me nearly a year to complete it, but it really is a well-documented book of those 6 weeks in my life.


me at Masada ~ one of the coolest places to visit in Israel

I’m thankful I pursued that project because without that scrapbook, I wonder if all I would remember are the stark colors and images, instead of the rays of light I saw in a few people.


at the home of a Palestinian friend;
16-yr-old Eman, myself, and Nejwa, Eman’s cousin, a student at the university