On September 23, Nidal Mutaweodeh ‘18 led a group of 15 West Bank YES alumni on an exploration of Nablus’ rich history. The adventure commenced at the Fatmia entrance, where a Muslim Mosque and Christian church peacefully share the same street. Nidal eloquently shared the story behind these two religious landmarks and their long history of harmonious coexistence.
The group then made their way to Al-Matal, an elevated vantage point offering breathtaking views of the city and the encompassing mountains. Nidal provided insight into the area’s geography and significance for the city. The tour progressed to Haret al-Yasmena, a lively location brimming with laughter and photo opportunities. The group seized the opportunity to take group pictures and enjoy delicious refreshments.
After that, a historical immersion awaited the group at the Old Nabulsi Hot Bath, where they could recline on heated beds and explore the ancient bathhouse. They emerged feeling rejuvenated and made their way to the largest grain mill in Palestine, where they learned about its products and the vital role the mill plays in the local economy.
They then went to the Cultural Center for Palestinian Memories, where they engaged with the city’s history and discovered the art of Nabulsi soapmaking. They then delved into the architectural history of Nablus at the Palestinian Center for Youth Development. They examined 3D models depicting the city over its history, and gained a deeper understanding of the city’s structural evolution.
To conclude the day, the group went to Clock Square in the heart of Nablus, where they roamed through traditional markets, indulged in the famous Nabulsi Konafa dessert, and connected with their fellow alumni.
This tour transcended mere sightseeing; it was an opportunity to learn about the history, culture, and traditions that have shaped Nablus. The alumni took stock of the spirit of cooperation and peace within the city, something that resonates deeply with their experiences of cultural exchange through the YES program.
Miar Alhammouri ‘20 expressed, "Visiting Nablus was truly wonderful. Every moment was a joy, and Nidal, our tour guide, was exceptional. His infectious energy and enthusiasm enhanced the entire experience. I eagerly look forward to my next visit to Nablus."
Nidal Mutaweodeh (YES 2017-2018, West Bank, placed by YFU in Charleston, WV)
Miar Alhammouri (YES 2019-2020, West Bank, placed by AFS-USA in Eden, NY)