– Post by Yara –
We’re going to GAMESCOM! Our trip started from Siegen Hbf at 7:00 in the morning so you can tell that we’re excited. When we got there I was amazed by the number of people and I was told that it’s not even crowded today. The first idea that popped in my head was the huge impact that games have on so many people. We tried several games like Sonic Race, Dragon Ball, PES 2019, Fortnite… . Fortnite had a batch card with six tasks you can do in order to get a small present. One of them was finding a hidden lama in the hall. We searched everywhere and even followed a guy that had a lama on his scooter hoping that we’d be the first to do it, but unfortunately we didn’t succeed – it wasn’t the right lama. We also saw a Game of Thrones booth where you can take a picture sitting on the throne, do a short survey, get a certificate that you’ve pledged your loyalty to House Lannister and finally get a small present (FREE STUFF FOR AYDIN). They had so many different games there, but I noticed that the majority of them were shooting games or included violence. And I started thinking of the effects that this will have on this generation and the ones that follow. Then I went to take a power nap on a bean bag in the PS4 booth. After that, I had the energy to try more games and I got free chips and oats bars.
Today we had a group discussion about Palestine with our German friends. We talked about the history of the Palestinian conflict, Nizar, Mo’ath and Omar shared some stories from their daily lives in Jerusalem and how for example once the Israeli army emptied the whole neighbourhood at 5:00 am to search for no valid reason. We talked about the struggles that a Palestinian citizen faces everyday because of check points, borders and settlements. Also, some explained how Palestinians living in Jerusalem don’t have IDs, just papers of residence, and the problems that we face when we want to travel. It took me, for example, 26 hours to get to Siegen while it will take way less than that for Germans to arrive in Ramallah. One fact that surprised me was that water tanks that we have above our houses in Palestine only exist because Israel only provide us water twice a week. I honestly thought that people have water tanks like us everywhere. This fact made me think and reflect. The terrifying thing with our struggle is that such hard circumstances are becoming normal to us and the normal basic rights that we should have are becoming luxuries.
It was a sunny day in Siegen which is unusual for German weather. We worked on our project (al-Am’ari YALLAH! club) and had an interview with the director of the popular theater in Palestine in order to cooperate with them. Later, we had a GERMAN NIGHT. Tamar and Julian shared some stories about their grandparents who witnessed some of the events that took place in Germany in the years from 1933 to 1945. We then watched a drama movie that talks about a german boy who his family moves because of his dad’s work (he was a soldier supporting Hitler) and the boy discovers a concentration camp nearby and makes friends with a boy from inside the camp. He tries to understand what the circumstances inside the camp are and gets confused because of the propaganda that soldiers used. It was a heavy movie with an ironic end I would say. We then gathered and discussed it. It was a lovely evening with LOTS of snacks!