Home stay in Na'alin

Bethlehem Travel Blog

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Two boys riding a donkey through Na'alin, a suburb of Bethlehem
On the outskirts of Bethlehem is a tiny Palestinian town called Na'alin.  Residents mostly get their income from working in the local cement factory, farming, or building homes for Israeli settlers who live on the other side of the Wall.  On one of our last nights in the West Bank, members of our delegation were given the opportunity to stay with local families for the night, and it was truly one of those experiences that I will never forget.

We arrived in Na'alin shortly before sunset, and were quickly divvied up by the various families.  Lindsay and I stayed with the Eleyan family, and quickly felt right at home with these wonderfully friendly and loving people, even though we speak extremely little Arabic, and only Muhammad, the eldest son, spoke any English.
Herding sheep at sunset
  Our host mother's brother owned the cement factory, so we were more fortunate than some of the others in our delegation, because our family was quite well-off.

We spent the evening feasting on delicious home-made food, smoking shisha on the porch with various members of the rather large extended family, and just revelling in how welcoming everyone was to us.  Since first arriving in Amman, we had dealt with a near-constant onslaught of political discussions.  Everyone we met had an opinion, and wanted to hear ours, as well.  For once, it was nice to escape the politics, to escape the feelings of tension that are so omnipresent in that region, and just relax.  I felt right at home, and I only wish I would have had more time to spend in this picturesque town.
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Two boys riding a donkey through N…
Two boys riding a donkey through …
Herding sheep at sunset
Herding sheep at sunset
Our delegation with our various ho…
Our delegation with our various h…
Our host familys home in Naalin
Our host family's home in Na'alin
Mosque in Naalin
Mosque in Na'alin
Sunset over Naalin
Sunset over Na'alin
View of Bethlehem by night
View of Bethlehem by night
With our Palestinian family for th…
With our Palestinian family for t…
Lindsay and me with our host mom, …
Lindsay and me with our host mom,…
With our host brother Muhammad
With our host brother Muhammad
Bethlehem
photo by: cotton_foam