|Final shot of M11/N11|
|Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum|
|The Old City of Jerusalem|
|Meeting with Dalia Rabin at the Yitzhak Rabin Center|
Monday was perhaps the most fulfilling and interesting day of the entire season. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the hotel (real coffee!) and then squeezed into a van for a drive over to Tel Aviv for a special visit to the Yitzhak Rabin Center. The center is dedicated to furthering peace and democracy within Israeli society, and has a special focus on education and exploring Israel's domestic diversity. We toured the museum, and then had the great pleasure to have a private meeting with Sharon Mars, the director of International Relations, and the center's chair: Dalia Rabin, Yitzhak's daughter. Sharon explained the center's mission and history, and Dalia answered questions. The meeting was a great way to wrap up the work we'd been doing with Tel Hai in our Skype class and over the past few weeks in Israel. After a few short hours at the Yithak Rabin center and in Tel Aviv, we piled back into the van and headed back to Jerusalem.
|Fuat and Andy|
|Ice Cream in Ramallah|
Once back in the City of Light, we met up with Fuat, brother of Leo (the owner of Macalester favorite Shish restaurant). Fuat took us into the West Bank, and we spent the afternoon touring the capital of the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah. Fuat took us by Yassar Arafat's tomb, to a world famous shawarma restaurant. Aside from shawarma, we sampled some sheep's brains, which were not as delicious as the shawarma. Fuat then took us into the heart of Ramallah for some ice-cream, which is a unique concoction made with gum resin. The ice cream was good, though not my favorite. However, although the food was delicious, the actual tour of Ramallah was far more interesting. I rode in a cab with Andy, and our cab driver was a Pan-Arabaist who had just been in Dara, heart of the recent unrest in Syria! Listening to his musings on life as a Palestinian living in east Jerusalem, and actually seeing the visible changes once we left Israel and entered the West Bank helped us understand more fully the complexities of the conflict in Israel. While the Rabin center focused on the extreme diversity and divisions within Israeli society, our visit to Ramallha highlighted the fractured nature of the relationship between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.