The 10th Know Thy Heritage Delegation embarks on their journey to Palestine, starting in Jordan
Natalia, Y. and Ramez, J

The Know Thy Heritage Delegates arrived in Amman, Jordan on July 14th. Walking into the hotel lobby, we were warmly greeted by the KTH Board, including Sir Rateb Rabie, KTH President and CEO, Dr.  Faten Shellbayeh, KTH Vice President and Ana Gisele Kafie the 2022 delegation’s Group Leader.

The delegates began arriving one by one and quickly started to get to know one another with brief background stories of where they came from and what part of Palestine their families belonged to. We were surprised to learn that we’ve come from ten different countries, including Australia, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, UAE and USA.

From all different walks of life, today they had all merged into one common path, they would be traveling back to their homeland, Palestine. Most of them were making the journey for the very first time, and through the KTH Leadership Program had become empowered as Palestinian Youth Diaspora to rediscover their heritage and become Ambassadors of Just Peace for Palestine.

The excitement amongst the group was palpable in their yearning to return to the land of Palestine, who have taken full advantage of this unique cultural education and lifetime experience that would enable them to better serve Palestine in the longer term. Sir Rateb explained the group’s valuable role to play and the responsibility that they carry in representing the Palestinian Diaspora throughout the world.

The delegates said their goodnights as they headed to their rooms to rest and prepare for the second day of preparing for their journey to Palestine.

The second day started bright and early with a brief background about KTH and its mission. Later in the day, the delegation headed to the Al Hannouneh Society for Popular Culture in Amman, whose mission is to preserve, unite and extend Palestinian and Levantine cultural identity, primarily through the use of traditional dress, music and dance.

The KTH delegation was welcomed by various leaders and members of the organization, who extended incredible hospitality and kindness towards all delegates and KTH staff throughout the visit. The visit kicked-off with an impassioned speech by Aseel Khalid Al-Nabali Al Hannouneh board member. During the speech, she highlighted the organization’s primary mission and goals while stressing the importance of preserving Palestinian cultural identity and celebrating heritage.

Following a few more speeches from Al Hannouneh leaders, the delegates were invited to explore and wear handmade traditional Palestinian dresses and jackets, took part in a zaffé, learned dabke and were served lunch consisting of several platters of traditional Palestinian and Levantine meals, including classics like Musakhan, Koosa w Wara Enab (stuffed zucchini and grape leaves), Mansaf, and much more. The delegates have never seen any variety of Palestinian authentic dishes served at one time, which was all prepared and organized by the leadership of Al Hannouneh and its members, so a special thanks to them.

After saying their goodbyes and some final photographs, the delegation headed back to the hotel for a final debriefing to prepare for the highly anticipated day of crossing to Palestine the next morning.

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