332 / – / a terrible tragedy

10. Vincent van Gogh house in Nuenen Netherlands

 

Bethlehem August 28, 2011
Dear friends,
Peace and all Good.
I’m back to home, where it is hot and dry. No hurricane like in the Philippines. My holiday was one of many impressions. The day before I began a tour through Europe, a terrible tragedy happened in Norway.
 

nederlands  Norwegian Anders B. did what was more expected done by so-called Muslim terrorists. I want to dedicate a separate consideration. I add it as an attachment to this letter. There are beautiful things happening in my vacation. I heard a story from a friend who works for the railways company. Once it happened that he made a round after a stop. A group that he had checked, he passed and he asked a man who had just boarded for his ticket. The already controlled group was white and he not. He reacted violently, but when he saw a badge of Martin Luther King, he immediately calmed down. There was a conversation and the man paid the ride smoothly. Another time he wanted to control a group of non-white young people, who had the problem to find their ticket. When one of them saw the badge a conversation started about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. The tickets came out smoothly. These two incidents show something of underlying tensions, which have to do with color of the skin. But these tensions can to be addressed, as my acquaintance in fact showed. This brings me to the following: For some time I realize that opposing to racial discrimination still does not mean that I experience that we are equal. A friend of mine referred immediately to delusional superiority of white people. I think often without realizing it. This experience of equality I got during my vacation. I visited my Rwandan friends, for whom I had made it possible to come to Europe and to continue their lives there. The best moment I found, was the conversation with their two eldest children, a daughter aged 16 and son aged 13. The daughter asked me why adults do not listen to young people. My answer was simple: either we can learn something from young people, or they say something that is wrong and we should show them why. It was a pleasant visit. A nice follow-up by the end of my European tour was the meeting with a friend and his wife in Brussels. Although my friend ha retired for many years, he still has jobs to do for the European Union, particularly in Africa. A beautiful story is that he has built a school for 13 deaf children with European money. With his NGO ‘close the gap’ he has delivered computers for the school. He showed them how to use a mouse and within five minutes the children could write their names. Next after a short time appeared over 100 deaf children. Now there has been built a larger school. Here we see what human capital is available in Africa. Incidentally, I do not underestimate the downside, which is also in Africa as elsewhere there is. I was first able to get a picture of World War One, when I visited West Flanders. I visited the museum at the ‘IJzer’ River, where long trench warfare took place. In Berlin I saw the new memorial to World War II with numerous gray blocks. I visited the Museum of the topography of terror. It concerns the terror during the Nazi regime as also the time of the GDR. After I landed in Tel Aviv, I took the group taxi to Tantur Ecumenical Centre, which lies close to Bethlehem. At one point the taxi driver said: Tantur pay. This I asked the man if he was always so polite. He dimmed some. When I walked into the city on Friday, I met two young men at first, sitting in front of their shop on the ground. One asked me if I could sneak him in Jerusalem. It was the 27th night of Ramadan, in which the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad is commemorated. At that night Muslims like to go to Jerusalem at the Al Aqsa mosque to pray. How important that night is, I saw when I arrived at the checkpoint in Bethlehem around half past midnight Palestinian time. Because of the fasting month Palestine had changed temporarily into the winter time, so the sunset is one hour earlier, when the fast could be broken. At the checkpoint on the edge of Bethlehem, I saw a large group of women sitting on the ground, awaiting the opening of the checkpoint three and a half hours later to the Al Aqsa mosque. The other young man asked me where I came from. Holland, I said and he immediately said Ajax. A difference in interests. Yesterday I broke the fast at Raida. She is a happy woman, because during my holiday, she is engaged to a man in Al Khadr near Bethlehem. They will marry on Sept. 10. The grapevine is fast. I was only in the course of the day called her to see if I could break her fast. After the meal a woman entered the house. I didn’t know her, but she gave me a hand. I was surprised about this, because this is not so usual. Then it figured out why this happened. Raida asked me if I could help her son with a scholarship. It was the same young man who threatened by his father to be killed. I have asked for further details. I need to look carefully who I can help. I’m certainly a problem with a young man, who has called me doubt whether he deserves my support. Meanwhile, the unrest in Israel continues. Every Saturday night, after the Sabbath, there are demonstrations across the country because of high rents for houses and high food prices. Yesterday there was also a demonstration near Bethlehem because of the building of the wall. See attachment. Greetings from a stable called Bethlehem, Louis 

© 2011




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Ik ben een minderbroeder in de voettappen van Franciscus van Assisi en woon in Bethlehem naast de Geboortekerk. Ik ben verantwoordelijk voor Vrede, Gerechtigheid en Eerbied voor de Schepping voor de Minderbroeders in het Heilige Land. Ik ben manager van de Hiphopper Hajj MC. Ik ondersteun jonge Palestijnen met hun studie naar vermogen.

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