I experienced some of the legendary Palestinian hospitality today. Some of the women students at the community center cooked a wonderful lunch for me and the other english teacher, which we all ate together.
This is the first time i have tried the traditional Palestinian dish makloubeh - a mix of rice, chicken, potato and carrot - and it was delicious. Combined with this we had piles of stuffed vine leaves and gherkins, little pastry parcels with cheese inside and sweets made from carrot, sugar and coconut.
This was washed down with some rich, thick arabic coffee.
The women at the center are great to be with - kind, friendly and a great sense of humor.
One of the women is a doctor who works in refugee camps and villages across the west bank. She was telling me of one village where she works which recently had half its land taken for an Israeli settlement. The villagers protest every friday, and every time the Israeli soldiers fire tear gas at them. She regularly has to deal with the after effects of this - including cases of asthama aggravated by the tear gas.