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Turathuna Summer Camp

 

Slideshow image

       

 

As the weather warms and summer begins, the Turathuna Center for Palestinian Heritage has launched its annual 10-day summer camp. The camp, which began Thursday the 5th of June, ended Monday the 16th of June with a small graduation ceremony where certificates were given. Fifteen participants aged 14-16 who come from local (private and government) schools took intensive culinary and mosaic courses with chef Peter Hermantas and Marlen Al-Seryani respectively. 

The Center aims to contribute to deepening the Palestinian identity through familiarity and pride in the national heritage. Through summer camps, the Center reaches out to the local community.

Mary Morcos, the curator of the Turathuna Center, said the aim of the camp is to “make the students love their Palestinian heritage and culture, preserve it, and be proud of it”. She cleared out that the idea behind holding a summer camp comes as there isn’t any summer camp for this age group in the area.

Morcos added that “the camp would not have been successful without the support of the Library Director and the University in general”. The Center boasts of a generous funding donated by a generous supporter some years back and seeks to find new donors for this Palestinian cause.

Marlen Al-Seryani, a Palestinian artist and teacher, taught the participants how to work with colored stones to make mosaic images. She says it is not only a way to preserve Palestinian culture but also a way to learn patience and strategic planning. “Students would learn how to plan their future lives through learning how to make mosaic images because they learn to plan future steps before taking any step”.

She added that “in the past, people used to preserve history through drawing pictures of mosaic like the ones in Jericho that tell stories. It would be a pity if we lose this culture”.

“The participants were cooperative and love to learn, they sometimes did not want to take breaks to continue working with their images,” Seryani added.

15-year-old Khader Halabi expressed his joy for participating in the camp saying that he will join next year as well. "We learned to think differently", he said while working on his mosaic image. "In order to fit the tiles together in one frame, you should think of different ways and try to see if it works".

Lourdes Abu Saada, who is turning 17 soon, said that the culinary classes she took during the camp taught her different techniques. "I went home the other day and made an apple tart for my family, they loved it!" She added that she enjoyed the camp with her new friends. 

During the camp, a trip was organized to Battir, a village located west of Bethlehem, where the participants went hiking.

See the above slideshow for different scenarios of "working together, working seriously on one’s project, as well as having fun and enjoying light moments fomenting friendship and bonding with one another".

 

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