Today was our first full day in the Holy Land. We spent the morning at the first brewery in Palestine call Taybeh Brewery in the town of Taybeh. This is a family owned brewery started by a father and his two sons. Being the first brewery in Palestine came with it’s share of challenges from not being able to find any investors to having to worry about the amount of water they use vs. the amount provided to them. The business today has expanded to a hotel and winery proving that were there is a will there is a way. The wife of one of the son’s shared with us her frustration at the situation and her hope that there one day would be a free Palestine she said that “sometimes it feels as though the whole world is pressing down on us.”
In the afternoon we visited The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hope- Ramallah, and spoke with the Pastor there. The Church of Hope also serves as a school that both Christian and Muslim children attend. They learn side by side and there is hope that this mentality of peaceful co-existence is one that will carry on, to future generations. The Pastor spoke to us about how it is getting harder to encourage the student to come back to live in Ramallah after they have completed university. Without there return some of the work of peaceful co habitation maybe lost.
As an American in a foreign land it was most shocking to me to go through a checkpoint when traveling back into Jerusalem from Ramallah. There were military men and women with AK47s (or something to that effect) milling around stoping cars checking for…who really knows. I can not imagine a life where armored guards become a daily part of life and a “norm.” Unfortunately there are many men, women, and children that have been forced to deal with this type of security their entire life’s. I beginning to discover that what we Americans see on the news is a very very small portion of what is really going.