This is my first Walking Walls post on this blog. Starting January 17, for the next 90 days, I’ll be writing about my adventures in Israel/Palestine, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland here, as well as posting photos, and, I’m sure, unrelated stuff too. But this is the inaugural post, the official first.
So I’m starting with a plan. A surprisingly specific one, and a schedule that’s bound to go to hell within a week or so, especially as more of the meetings I’m setting up are confirmed. Loyal readers will remember the farce that was my itinerary on the Iron Curtain Trail. But here it is anyway. In a month, it’ll be fun to compare the ideal with the actuality.
Day 1: Arrival, orientation
Day 2: Begin J’lem wall walk at the zoo
Day 3: Continue walk
Day 4: E. J’lem tour with Ir Amim, finish walk
Day 5: Begin J’lem West Bank walk
Day 6: Continue walk
Day 7: Finish walk
Day 8-10: Meetings (Just Vision, Palestinian contacts, etc)
Day 11: Visit Bi’lin
Day 12: Wall-to-Wall J’lem walk
Day 13: visit Qalqilya
Day 14: Qalqilya
Day 15: visit Bethlehem, meetings, walk to Jerusalem
Day 16: East Jerusalem, Palestinian housing
Day 17: Rest, catch-up, meetings
Day 18: Rest, catch-up, meetings
Day 19-24: Tel Aviv, meetings, maybe side trip to Beruit and Lebanon/Israel wall
Day 25: Return to J’lem
Day 26: J’lem meetings, visit Beit Safafa
Day 27: Visit Ari’el
Day 28: Ari’el, walk ‘the finger’
Day 29: Visit split soccer field at Tayba
Day 30: Tayba, return to J’lem
Days 31-35: buffer days, catch-up, final meetings, wrap-up
Day 36: Day 1 of Cyprus
So far I’ve had quite a bit of success networking and arranging meetings. I’m in touch with Peace Now, Just Vision, Ir Amim, and a handful of individuals ranging from Palestinians who live by the wall, to local journalists. But there are also A LOT of organizations that haven’t written back to me. Luckily, there are tons of groups and activists in the region and either way, I’m sure I’ll have my hands full. Plus, I’m getting really, really good at these emails.
The next few days will be a whirlwind of last-minute preparations, errands, packing, and soaking up as much of Vienna as possible. This project has been in the works in various incarnations for 16 months now and I’m stoked to get underway.