April 22 2015
I couldn’t blog my last few days since I was caught up between moving from one place to another, lost my connection as I moved from the West Bank area (supposedly a free Palestinian area only you are a little locked in and have no rights to move out without the permission of the Israelis) to the 1948 occupied Palestinian areas (or to what most people refer to as Israel). So if you have a Palestinian line in the Palestinian territories, you can no longer use it in the occupied territories, and we are talking about areas that are only 10 minutes away from one another. Insane, but true.
But anyway, on my third day, I was lucky enough to have a local Nabulsi نابلسي young man to be my guide and show me around, and he showed me the wonders of Nablus. As the Samaritans السامريون told me there: “3 things you must do while in Nablus” 1- Eat Knafeh 2- Visit a Nabusli Soap Company مصنع صابون نابلسي and 3-Visit Mount Gerizim but I believe you should add 4- Have Mashawi BBQ 5- Walk the old city and 6- Visit Mount Ebal.
And truly, this is what I did, we went to one of the biggest Nabulsi Soap companies in Nablus “Al Jamal – Shakaa Company” and I promise you it is like going into Disney land, for it is a world of it’s own, and not just any world, a beautiful slippery one. I truly loved it from learning about the Olive Oil to how they mix with Water and very little baking soda, then they spread it in an indoor field, they leave it for about 4 months to dry, hand cut each one, hand stamp each one, and hand package each one. Amazing.
Then we went to have food, great Mashawi, made with the best spices, of-course this meal should be followed with a Knafeh the most amazing dessert in Palestine. As we finished we headed to the “Khan Al Wikaleh” old city where the oldest cinema is located and what is now known as where the Milano shoe shop is. We checked out the new project renovation that is just beautiful to visit. You will find Ancient Roman leftovers.
As we finished we headed towards the hilltop of Jirzeim where the Samaritans are located, and we went for a tour there where apparently they have a gate of their own and you sort of need permission to enter. As we were finished, time have passed us by and I had to rush back and leave Nablus to Tulkarem to meet with my friends from the 1948 occupied area.
I was there in no time, my friends from Nablus could no longer go further; they were not allowed in the occupied territories (into Israel). Since they are not occupied by the Israelis, they are locked in the West Bank. Therefore we had to wait for my Palestinian friends who have Israeli passports to come in and pick me up to cross the boarder.
I went in and started my journey inside the 1948 occupied territories. Again greeted by the warmest Palestinian families, they made me feel at home. The warmth they have in their hearts is remarkable. I was welcomed into 3 homes, listening to stories that break our hearts and eating food cooked by Palestinians. I had Fteret Zaatar and Wara Dawali.