Hannah and Je together

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Forty Ninth Day – Fighting with Teacher and Hebron

The arabic teacher in my class is Marwa Bannoura, young lady just married last month.  I bet she is nice person, but she has some problem at her teaching method.  She gives us too many vocabularies everyday, and expects us to memorise everything.  Because none of us can memorise all everyday, she is always mad at us.  And most days she made us feel dumb.  She always says that it is so easy, and why can’t we do this easy thing.  Oh yes, it is easy to you but not to us.

In my class, we have five students. Mateo from Italy, Anna from Switzerland, Lina from Germany, Klitos (which we call clitoris) from Ghana, and I.  The other students sometimes told me that they feel so dumb.  And today, I do not know what happened to her, but she looked very unhappy from the beginning.  And when we were not doing well with Arabic, she raised her voice and yelled at us.  I was holding myself for three weeks, but I could not bear this any more, so I had some argument with her.  She became so emotional and commanded me as if she is the queen and I am her servant.  I came out of the class eventually.

I do not know about the Palestinian culture and its teaching method, but I am not Palestinian first of all.  And she cannot treat us as kids.

First she talked to the dean, and later dean came to me and we talked.  One of the thing she complained about me to the dean was that I ask too many questions.  I doubted my ears.  Isn’t a student supposed to ask questions?  What the hack is wrong here?  When students cannot catch up, especially every student in the class, then she needs to change the way of her teaching, and repeat that until students get it, not yelling at the students “dumb.”

And she dropped two days because she needed to go to the court for her parking tickets.  Twice in four weeks is too much.  A teacher especially these kind of Academy is a service provider, not a queen nor governor over the students.  She is not professional but just amateur.

Jewish Settlement

Jewish Settlement

Anyway, six students went to Hebron after the class.  A student who arranged it told me that his friend is not an official tour guide but better than any other, and we would visit not only the tomb but also the old market and we can see the Palestinian reality.  So I joined them.  The picture is Jewish settlement above the Old Market.

Protecting Net

Protecting Net

Above some streets of the old market, Palestinians placed a net because Jewish settlers throws too much garbage and sometimes stones.  As the McCormick travel group experienced, the settlers in West Bank are mostly religious Jews, and they are so much worse than secular Jews.  We all saw that Mara was bitten here in Hebron by a Jewish settler.

Market Checkpoint

Market Checkpoint

Today we crossed three checkpoints in Hebron.  One is when we went out of the old market which is the picture above.  Then when we went in to the Jewish side of the tomb, and also when we went in Muslim side.  Strangely enough, the soldiers were so friendly to us.  They were all smiling at us, and very nice.  It was good, I am not saying it is bad.  I was told that there are different races among Jews, and they also have very strong racism.  And I was also told that European (White) Jews are not really dispatched here in Hebron because it is dangerous.  Well, I cannot say that is 100% true, but I looked around and that was true at least today in front of my eyes.

We went to the Jewish synagogue first, and I did some kind of tour guide because the so-called unofficial or unregistered Palestinian tour guide are not allowed in the synagogue, and I can read Hebrews.  And when we passed the Muslim side checkpoint, it was beginning of the Muslim Prayer time.  We were not allowed to enter for an hour, so we gave up to enter.  The fake tour guide told us that “you saw the Jewish side, and it is the same.”  Well, actually it is not the same.  I actually wanted to ask him, “How do you know?  You’ve never been to the Jewish side.”  So our so-called tour guide literally did nothing, but I did.

Hirbawi Textile Factory

Hirbawi Textile Factory

Then we went to Hirbawa Textile factory.  The machines are so old, I thought they are from the Industrial Revolution.  Two girls in my group wanted to buy some fabric, but they called the price too high, and they were very rude to us and was not willing to negotiate.  So the girls did not buy because of their attitude rather than the price itself.

Another Glass Factory

Another Glass Factory

Then we went to glass factory, but this is not the same place where McCormick group visited.  It is smaller, but the making the glass itself was almost the same.

When we going back, the tour guide asked us more money because they stopped at two factories.  It was 30 shekels, which is 5 shekels each, so we just paid them.  And they did not drop us at each one’s house as the official tour company does, but they just dropped us all at the Bethlehem University.  So I also had to walk 50 minutes.  I just realised that it is better and safe to use the real tour service.  Today, it was just waste of money and time.  Today was the first and hopefully the only shitty day in my entire trip.

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