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Date: 8.6.2005
Source: Custody of the Holy Land

I am back from my trip to Holland for two weddings in my family and four lectures about the background of the conflict in the Middle East. As far I can see the lectures were successful.

Back in Bethlehem I started again with my work and I have already a tough problem with an expensive bill of the telephone company. I have to see how to deal with this situation.

On Tuesday Wisam introduced me to a professor, who teaches Islam at the Bethlehem University and the Al Quds (Jerusalem) university. He started also an educational institute in the centre of Bethlehem and wants to cooperate with us. He sees himself as a catholic Muslim He has already a license for his institute and rented three rooms. I will see what is possible.

On Wednesday I heard from the young women who work for the youth house that they decided to pay for every phone call they make. A good initiative. They wrote also a letter against the rumour as if I started the youth house in order to convert Muslims into Christians. The letter starts with two quotations from the Koran not to believe rumours which are spread but first to verify them.

A neighbour invited me for a cup of tea. He talked about psychology in stead of the punishment by fathers in the past without any reason. He showed an eye for what a child does well.
On Thursday I had a talk with two men from scouting in Al Doha who wants to be a part of the youth house. The youngest is only twenty but is already finishing his study. He seems to me intelligent, but also with a sense for humour.

On Friday I went to Jericho together with the four women who work for the youth house as a volunteer. There was a meeting with young people from Ramallah and Nablus. From Hebron no one could come. It is a group which wants to pay attention for peace in ourselves, with the other Palestinians, for dignity and for identity. This is an interesting development. The one from Ramallah seems to me a good guy. He could not fulfil his final exam on the secondary school, I think because of the situation. But he likes to have contact with people from his own age without control by older people like me and he wants to go to Darfur in order to help the people. I hope to support him. Although we were rather fast ready, the women wanted to stay in Jericho. Because the taxi driver must come from the area of Bethlehem it cost time before he was in Jericho. It gave us the possibility to visit the Spanish garden, which has a good reputation. I saw in the dark the coloured fountains. One of the pictures I send, shows them and the other is from the meeting.

Greetings from Bethlehem.
Louis Bohte

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