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June 2nd was a very interesting day because we were able to learn about the effects of the Green Line o a village and visit both the White Mosque and Church of the Annunciation. At 9 am we got on the bus from Tel Aviv to Givat Haviva, an educational foundation that focuses on equality and understanding between Jews and Arabs. When we arrived at Givat Haviva, we saw a beautiful campus. It was very Green and had beautiful monuments.
We walked through the campus until we reached a classroom, where Lydia Eisenberg, a very famous peace activist received us. She gave us a quick introduction to the conflict, and then she introduced us to a Professor who took over the rest of the trip. The professor gave us a quick history lesson on the creation of the state of Israel. I think its important to listen to how every speaker provides a narrative of the history and foundation of the state, because it provides us with a better understanding of his position towards the conflict. When the professor was done lecturing he took us back to the coach were we drove to a village that had been divided during the Oslo Peace process, with the creation of the Green Line.
When I heard this village had been divided I imagined it was physically divided. In reality it wasn’t houses on both sides of the line looked exactly the same, Israeli and Palestinian cars were parked next to each other. Everything seemed the same except it wasn’t. I couldn’t help but think what would happen to this people if a two state solution was developed. Currently half of the populations are considered Arab-Israeli, while the other half are Palestinians.
While we were standing at the top of a three-story building I could not see the difference between both sides of the village. Life seemed normal; it was a very commercial area, with several types of stores. On the roof top I saw a man driving a forklift in the middle of the street, from what I understood from observing him was that his job was to carry products from one side of the street to the other. I couldn’t help what would happen to his job if the green line was formally put in place, what job would he had, in which side of the street would he live on?
As the day went by, we went to Nazareth, were we visited a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This was an amazing experience because there was so much history within the church. The fact that in the present church was built on top of two old churches, is something I had hear of before, but I had never been able to see the past structures within the church. I also thought it was beautiful to see all the imageries of the Virgin Mary in several cultures and countries.