Post by David.
Running out of tap water
In the last days our flat ran out of tap water. It seems to be that our flat did not get a recurring refill of the rooftop water reservoir. These reservoirs backup the occasionally turned off water supply. But they do not get continuously refilled, in most cases every 2-4 days. When you use too much water or they forget your reservoir you are out of tap water.
Because of this situation we learned that it needs a bit organization to share a bathroom with eight people. One does get used to almost anything.
3D printers are more and more common everywhere; also here in West Bank. Usually they use plastic (PLA, ABS) as material to print the 3D models. But what about printing sculptures using clay? By chance, we met a German team that hacked a 3D-printer to work with clay. They use it to work with local potters and clay artists to show them how to combine their traditional clay work with current IT-technology. For a proof of concept they created a 3D scan of a clay carafe and printed it with their hacked 3D printer.
Refugee Camp al-Am’ari
After seeing how great the intercultural exchange and the hacking spirit is also happening in the West Bank we had to see the other side: the long-term consequences of the displacement in the late 1940s. People living at the coast (nowadays Israel) were forced to move to refugee camps because of the conflict after the Second World War. Someone told us, that they have the right to return to their homes after the conflict (UN Resolution 194 from 1948). But this never happened.
Since then the refugees are living in the camps with their children and grandchildren. Until today, they never gave up the hope to be allowed to return to their land. Because of this they kept their old house keys until today, no matter if their houses are still there.
We visited the refugee camp al-Am’ari in Ramallah. Around sixty percent of the camp residents are children right now. We were warmly welcomed in the community center of the camp where they also take care of children, similar to a kindergarten.
We were told, that right now the camp has around 8.000 residents. The streets and paths in the camp are really narrow. Nevertheless a few cars were trying to find their way through these paths.
They also showed us the Computer Club a few of our colleges from the University of Siegen built up 4 years ago. It looked abandoned. But one of our projects is to revitalize the club to enable more children to learn how to do interesting and fascinating things with computers. Hopefully some of them get the spirit of the hacking community and understand what hacking really means: hacking your environment in ways the things you are hacking where not meant to be used and using them for your own needs.
I am participating in the urban gardening project. We decided to visit the gardening space of the university to look what they have already achieved.
Today there are no lectures at the university. The staff is protesting against a legislation amendment concerning the pension payment in the West Bank. Because of this, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has organized a common breakfast for students and staff in the hall of the main faculty building. Surprise, there is a lot of hummus on the tables! We cannot be totally wrong by eating hummus all day long. This seems to be a common local habit as well.
Oh, and there seems to be a common sense between me and one other group member about making delicious Arabic hot drinks with our own ingredients. We both got the internal trophy for being the jerk of the day because of totally failing in the kitchen: Mocca tastes really good with sugar in it. I prepare this every day in the morning. Usually, there is cardamom added to the ground coffee. But try salt! It is… different. Also black tea with salt is an unforgettable experience…