Archive for August, 2009

“Upside down!” Thanks to all volunteers who had come to Jenin

Monday, August 17th, 2009


“…when the rice is done, take off the lid, place a large round serving platter over the top of the casserole, and carefully invert in one very quick motion….slowly and carefully lift the casserole. Serve!”

Hello to all friends of Cinema Jenin,
For my first post for the blog I have to write about this summer! Since 2 years we were travelling, Marcus and me, to Jenin, to forward the cinema project. Only with a few friends till then, looking for contracts, companies, material, workshops, cleaning the cinema, meeting our Palestinian friends, mainly children ….but this summer it was amazing! I managed 15 students coming from the Leibniz Kolleg (Studium Generale) in Tübingen to help renovating, creating, living with us in Jenin to support the Cinema, “Coming Soon”! I taught theatre in the Kolleg before, so I asked the students for helping in August, to come to Jenin…. and the more important for me was that they have the opportunity to travel around on both sides, Israel and Palestine, to experience on their own these two countries! Because I know that this is the only way to understand or to discuss this conflict and the special situation around!

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Thanks to our sponsor Air Berlin

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Air Berlin

Between all our reports from Jenin I just want to say a big thank you to air berlin, our flight sponsors!!! We are really fortunate to profit from their generosity and from the way they take care of us, from the “easy booking” to the special luggage conditions: On our last trip we took two huge loudspeakers and several huge bags filled with donations as charity overweight on top of our luggage. At the check-in at Tegel airport, Mr. Karabulut (we learned that it means black cloud in Turkish) made everything easy and possible.

Thanks again to all air berliners and see you soon in our guesthouse in Jenin!

A timeless memory for our architect

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

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Dear friends,
Here comes a short stroy from our daily life in Jenin. Our architect Johannes and myself, we both came to Jenin end of July and we had hard and eventful days. After one week, Johannes had to prepare his departure for Germany and left a pair of dirty and worn-out trousers. As a sign of his tireless commitment, I had the idea to make a cast statue out of these trousers as a timeless and permanent memory of his work. With the support of Caren, who at the first moment really met me with disbelief, and with a lot of plaster we both made this idea come true.
For our friends from Palestine, the besmearing of an old throuser was something incomprehensible, yet at the very end, when the commemorative plaque has been added to the artwork, it brought a big smile to their faces.

Best regards and a big hug to my friend Johannes.

Our first guests in the guesthouse – Johannes´ last day in Jenin

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

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On my last day I took it quite easy. After a brief discussion about the next steps with Annette, Achim and Fakhri, it was Achim’s and my first lazy day. We went for a strawl in town. The past days have been so full of impressions, waiting, coffee, hard work and fun and last night, the first evening in the guesthouse with real guests, has been excellent. Tonight I will leave through the Jalameh-checkpoint. It’s much faster from there to Tel Aviv and we heard that the Israelis are not so strict anymore. And in case there would ne any trouble, I still have enough time to go back through Ramallah and Jerusalem.

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A typical working day – Johannes’ diary day 6

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

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This day has been kind of ambivalent. We got up very late, because we had been up till 3.30 am. Due to this fact, in the late afternoon, we had got the impression to have not accomplished anything today. Same for the guesthouse. Close to the planned completion, we met just one emaciated but wonderful paver and the site looked more than messy. Half of the population of Palestine is jobless and our site looked abandoned. Fakhri will give a call to all companies and motivate them to go for a final effort.
In Jenin, we are spending a lot of time with waiting, talking on the phone, and drinking coffee. At some point, Achim and myself, we got fed up with massing around and decided sorting the old tiles of the guesthouse and looking for the appropriate places to incorporate them. Everybody got excited about this idea, especially our nice, old paver.

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Work progress at the guesthouse – Johannes’ diary day 5

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

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We had a short night and had to get up early to leave for Ramallah. Together with our air condition engineer we had to coordinate the the positions of the equipment and the pipes with the rest of the of work sections. Finally we made it! The meeting went smoothly and relaxed (compared to what is happening sometimes in Germany…) We were working at two tables in a cafe. One table has been reserved for the wonderful breakfast, like humus with meat, tomatoes with meat, omelettes, mixed pickles, pita with sesame and cheese, and fresh orange juice). Ramalllah has got a much more Western style due to the concentration of foreign organisations and companies. On our way back, we stopped at an oasis, situated around a natural spring, one of the rare places where you can find abundant spring water.
Back in Jenin, we inspected the work progress at the guesthouse, which was still quite poor for now. Tomorrow, together with Fakhri, we will try to motivate the workers to accelerate their efforts for the final spurt.
To finish my day, I sat down to draw the section and to send it to the air condition engineer, as promised. Fakhri, Achim and myself took a little break and then continued to work, exchanging the latest news and working on the budget. In between, Jamal, our lawyer, took us out for a falaffel restaurant to the city. Once again, it has been great to be in this amazing, crowded, bubbly atmosphere.

Dressed like our Arabic friends – Johannes’ diary day 4

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

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Today has been declared as shopping day. Kitchen equipment has been bought for the guesthouse, like gas stove, refrigerator, washing machine. We had a brief meeting with the air condition guy. Tomorrow we will meet him in Ramallah in order to coordinate the work sections and include it into the execution planning. Then we spent the hole afternoon finding a “Dasch-discha”. This is the traditional robe of Arabic men. Funnily enough, this kind of cloth has been difficult to find, despite Ayman’s well done guiding tour through the market place. Now Achim and myself, we are dressed like our Arabic friends, while they walk around in jeans and t-shirts. When they look at us, they seem like a bit irritated and then they start laughing – we still do not know exactly why….