MembersA Day in Ramallah

The ride from Jerusalem to Ramallah doesn’t take long: Damascus Gate, then the bus station, in forty minutes we are there.

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Photo: Zack Wajsgras/Flash90

Just 12 miles (20 kilometers) separate the capital of Israel from the seat of the Palestinian Authority. It’s just on the other side of the security barrier meant to keep terrorists out of Israel. And once you’re there, you feel like you’ve been transported into another country, another culture.

After walking just a few yards, a local man addresses me in English. He wants to help me find my hostel and to show me the town. In spite of his knowledge of the place, it takes us a good half-hour to orientate ourselves. We spend the whole time conversing. He is a Palestinian and earns his living as a tour guide. A visit to Ramallah is not really worthwhile without a guide. He asks if I might need a tour guide? Why not? After all, despite media portrayals that create mistrust between the two sides, this is just a man like myself trying to get by. We set off to find my accommodations.

Ramallah is not large, yet the atmosphere is very hectic. It is strange to sense the...

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