By Faris E.

A bittersweet tenderness permeated the group’s last full day together in Palestine. This journey has impacted all our lives, and the impending separation from this land and each other underlies a somber mood.

Following breakfast was a thorough evaluation to suggest improvements for the program. We then discussed how to give back to Palestine once we return, promising to keep in contact with each other and build our network. We each have a role to play in nation building, and this trip has inspired us to do our parts.

What followed was each of us taking turns to reflect on the journey thus far. To call KTH an emotional rollercoaster is an understatement – the program was dense with experience and in the last few weeks many of us may have aged years. Though we are leaving we are never gone; though not under our feet, Palestine is in our hearts.

After a delicious home cooked fish & chips, we departed to the Dead Sea. Its beauty is indescribable, a vast mountainous region surrounds the sea where salt leaves one floating effortlessly between the two worlds of Jordan and an illegal Israeli outpost. Soft mud smoothened our skin while the salt healed our wounds, and the warm water satisfied us under the hot sun.

We then returned to Ramallah for a final departure ceremony. This incredible journey would not have been made possible without the support of many parties on the ground, and this was our opportunity to give thanks. Awards were distributed in a warm environment flowing with food, drinks, and friendly faces. We told our final somber yet appreciative goodbyes to all those who had moved us and brought this life changing adventure to a close.

Thank you all so much for shaping this journey with us! Inshallah we will see you all again soon.