#21: The Palestinian tour guide, love and laughter on the "wrong side of the wall"

#21: The Palestinian tour guide, love and laughter on the "wrong side of the wall"

This episode of the Wag Tales is a special edition to shed light on life in Palestine. In this episode, Megan is joined by one of her favourite people and good friends, the first Palestinian she met when she visited the region. This guest is the BEST tour guide in Palestine, an almost 35-year-old, living just outside of Bethlehem with his wife and 2 children. The first time Megan visited the West Bank, she was with a group of friends, and they did not have a lot of time to navigate the best way to visit, so they spontaneously booked a tour guide. They got lucky and were provided with the best guide you could possibly have, spending the day learning so much and laughing at all his stories and jokes. They ended up spending more than one day with him on this trip, visiting most of the cities in the West Bank. When Megan planned to return to the area to live in Nablus, she was welcomed with a lot of support and friendship (much more like family) from him and his family in Bethlehem.

In this episode, the guest shares the story of how him and his wife met and married, despite the complication of holding different identification cards. His wife was a Palestinian born in East Jerusalem, making her an Israeli resident (not a citizen), which provides her with an Israeli ID card and means she must live in areas under Israeli control. He was born in Bethlehem, meaning he holds a Palestinian ID card and is not permitted to live in Israeli controlled areas, yet they chose to marry and face the complication of this situation together. He explains how he has needed to apply for permits to be present at the birth of both of his daughters and shares how complicated this has been both times. They also talk about how different the situation in the West Bank is now to when Megan was there previously. He explains how it takes him approximately 2 hours to travel the 7km to visit his parents and how Palestinians are having their phones broken or they are being assaulted by soldiers at the check points.

Megan reflects on the times they spent together when she lived in the West Bank and they talk about the time that he was booked to give a tour to our very own, Tony Abbott... You'll notice this guest has a wonderful sense of humour, he explains that as a Palestinian you either choose to laugh at the situation and see life as an adventure or you might have a heart attack.

The episode is brought to you by our sponsor, Teachers Well. You can learn more about their work or purchase a compass journal here: https://www.teacherswell.com/

Our guest mentions the power of boycotting and shares this as an action that anyone can take. Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is a strategy initiated in 2005 by 170 Palestinian civil society organisations calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel's government and those entities which support and benefit from its actions in relation to Palestinians, until such time as the Israeli government abides by international law and Palestinians are given the rights and freedoms they are entitled to. You can find out how to effectively do this here: https://bdsaustralia.net.au/

SOS Palestine is an NGO and not for profit that was established in 1966 to support children and young people at risk due to family breakdown or the loss of a parent. They offer programmes to strengthen families and to provide out of home care services in Gaza and the West Bank. As you can imagine, they are currently working harder than ever, and financial support is needed. You can learn more about their work or donate by visiting https://www.sos-palestine.org/

Host: Megan Corcoran, Wagtail Institute, https://wagtailinstitute.com/

Music by Kabbilistic Village https://kabbalisticvillage.com/