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The Wall

The wall is overwhelming large in size. It is eight meters high, constructed of concrete and is the official separation barrier between parts of Palestine and Israel. It is larger than the Berlin Wall.

The wall stands present with dominance and is flooding with emotion. If one looks from the Israeli side, it brings a sense of safety and security from "the enemy". Yet if one crosses the border and witnesses what is shown in the picture above, the wall shouts "apartheid" and "stay out". Because of this authoritative being, the Palestinian people must live their lives in a very different world which is only a wall away. The difference between the look and feel of the Israeli world and Palestinian world is strikingly large. It seemed as though we had left a prosperous land, crossed the barrier and entered a third world country, Palestine.

This wall reeks control, power and inequality. The power that this wall enforces upon the Palestinian people is mind boggling. Blockage, barrier, STOP, not any further turns into limited future and uncertainty for these people. Yet they carry on with their lives, in the midst of controlled and restrictive circumstances. At times, the restrictions withhold their basic freedoms and dignified rights as human beings.

This side of the wall (see photography above) cries out for change. Palestinians who have lost loved ones due to violence write their stories on this wall. The wall is filled with stories of everyday people who have been affected by this conflict. As I read the multiple narratives of people who have had hardship inflicted upon them, the word trauma comes to mind. Whether it is having lost loved ones, being forced out of their homes, or something else, that is traumatic. What is worse is that this is not over yet. This is not comparable to viewing a historical war monument of some kind. As I stood in front of the wall I knew that this was not 'something from the past' because I felt their very present cry. It was heart-breaking to see and feel the burden of restriction. Yet, in the midst of it all I never once viewed the Palestinian people as weak. There is an on-going push to not give up, but to endure. The Palestinian people shine with resilience.

As I stood on this side of the wall I pondered: "why is it that some people are born on one side and others the other side, yet, the difference is strikingly enormous?" That is something I will never understand. Aren't we all simply 'people' at the end of the day? The wall confronted me with the truth that according to some, no, we aren't all just 'people' at the end of the day. During this moment, I not only witnessed, but also emotionally experienced the fact that walls create barriers of hate amongst people. Yes, it separates and excludes people. That is its purpose and the purpose is most definitely achieved.

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