A Taste of Nablus and the Awes of Rawabi

By: Miriam Al B.

 A city of rolling hills and sandstone filled with the rich stories of antiquity that you can almost hear upon touching them: this is Nablus. Driving through the city was a magical experience of seeing bustling people and fresh produce everywhere. We began our jam-packed journey at a beautiful Orthodox Church containing the historical Jacob’s Well. Here, we observed intricately designed paintings that decorated the walls in shimmering opulence. We pulled a fresh bucket of well water and were allowed the opportunity to literally taste history. The importance of this well was explained to us in a biblical context, thus solidifying its importance to people of the Christian faith.

We then walked around the buildings of Nablus. The old walls told stories of leaders, powerful families, and in more recent times, men ordained as martyrs for their unjust deaths at the hands of Israel. Even on the ground, a few of us found bullet casings, which was a reminder to remember the plight of our people in such a beautiful place. 

As Arabs, we naturally sought coffee and tea after walking around, but then the main event happened: Knafeh. We ate at the world-famous (even TikTok famous!) Al Aqsa Knafeh, where we were gifted with what I can say was a life-changing experience for my tastebuds. The crumbly exterior coated in sugar syrup brought out the richness of the soft, stretchy cheese. Truly something I will never forget.

After eating enough knafeh for a lifetime, we continued our journey through Nablus, where we visited the Nablus municipality to learn more about the local government’s plans for the future of Nablus. Afterward, we travelled to visit family businesses, some owned for tens of generations by one family, including the Al’ard Olive Oil factory. We later met with the Samaritans, who explained the differences between Jews and Samaritans. As we returned to our homebase in Ramallah, we met a Palestinian entrepreneur who built one of the largest developments on Palestinian land to provide opportunities to the local workforce in the city of Rawabi. 

This was our second day in Palestine, and everything we experienced surpassed anything we could have ever expected. We felt so grateful to be in Palestine, and Nablus was nothing short of amazing. Today was very insightful, inspiring, and educational – can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

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