Karl Davidsson, a citizen of Sweden, started to learn Arabic at the Excellence Center in Hebron, Palestine on October 1st of this year and his last days will be at the end of this month,The Excellence Center is really sad to see Karl go but all at the center are glad Karl enjoyed his stay. We interviewed Karl on one of his last days at the center and here is what he had to say.
Before coming to Palestine, Karl was working in his home country of Sweden. For his career, Karl helps with refugees and those looking for political asylum. Karl decided to come to Palestine and to learn Arabic in Palestine because he loves Middle Eastern culture and their people. Karl is really happy with his decision to come to Palestine.
When asked about his stay in Palestine, Karl mentioned that he feels very safe in Palestine. “I was really worried before but now I feel safer here than I would in Sweden,” said Karl.
The reason Karl feels this way is because he said that the Palestinians helped him become aware of which areas are safe and which areas aren’t safe. That being said, Karl stays clear from the unsafe areas. Within the safe areas Karl has felt at home and has felt free of worry.
During his stay Karl has noticed how friendly the Palestinian people are. “I feel so welcomed here,” Karl expressed.
Karl really appreciates the Palestinians and the people he has encountered these last two months. Karl talked about how much he loved his host family and how they treat him like one of their own. Everyday, Karl‘s family cooks delicious Palestinian food for him. Karl‘s host family doesn’t even allow him to leave the house without having a bite to eat, or at least some traditional coffee or tea.
He also mentioned how he is Christian but still feels much love and acceptance from the Palestinians living in Hebron who are mostly followers of Islam. “They treat me like one of their brothers,” he said.
Karl also talked about how when he gets a haircut in his neighborhood or something of the sort he often doesn’t have to pay, “They tell me ‘just tell your country about what is happening here in Palestine and what we have to go through,” said Karl.
It is for these reasons that Karl has developed a special love for Palestine. Before studying Arabic with the Excellence Center, Karl studied Fusha and colloquial in Jordan. He said he enjoyed his stay in Palestine much more than his stay in Jordan.
Karl has really loved studying Arabic in Palestine at the Excellence Center. His teacher at the center was Rasha Taeem. He said that he has really learned a lot and praised his teacher Rasha for all her hard work.
Rasha isn’t the only one Karl praised from the center. In fact, Karl said good things about the entire Excellence Center staff. “The staff at the Excellence Center is like my family. They are very friendly, open, and helpful. We always do things together everyday, even smoke shisha together.
Because of his experience with the Excellence Center and his pleasant stay in Palestine, Karl can’t wait to come back. He said that he is already planning for his next visit and how he hopes to volunteer with the Excellence Center in April or May of next year.