Comments from Past Participants
"Today we arrived in Rafah and were met by a doctor who took us to the newly inaugurated Rachel Corrie Children’s Center. Children’s artwork was all over the walls. They had painted what they see every day around them—Apache helicopters, tanks, people dying, houses demolished, but they had also painted their hopes and dreams—rainbows, green hills covered with wildflowers, animals roaming the earth in peace, and many, many drawings of the sea and of shining boats bobbing in the water." (Rafah residents are not allowed access to the sea.)
—Mona Halaby, August 2004
"The MECA delegation to Israel and Palestine allowed the nine delegates to cover much of the geographical and political landscape and to experience life on the ground in a way that one couldn’t understand from following the media. In a brief ten days, it became apparent that the discussions in the US Media totally ignore the reality of life for Palestinians."
—David Eifler, December 2003
"We were invited to the beautiful, plant-filled Ali home to relax and have a meal before returning to Dheisheh. We all appreciated their gracious hospitality, of course, but what affected me the most was seeing a slice of this family’s life…When I hesitatingly asked the eldest [sister] some questions about how her life was under the occupation, she answered that she didn't know any other life."
—Karen Platt, July 2005
"The man who is leading us is named Yacoub. The rocky, dusty trail leads to the place that was once Yacoub’s home: the village of Liftah. Set like a small jewel among green hills, rich with fruit trees and water, Liftah was once a thriving, beautiful place. Yacoub was eight when Liftah was invaded in l948, and he and his family were forced to leave."
—Anita Barrows, July 2005
"I learned more in 13 days with MECA in Palestine than in decades of reading and listening—more about the cruelties and injustices of the Occupation and more about the resistance and longing that live in the hearts of the Palestinian people. There’s no substitute for being there, for seeing the Wall, the checkpoints, the settlements, the Israeli flag flying over Hebron’s former City Hall, and for hearing a Palestinian say, in the ghost town that was once the village of Lifta near Jerusalem, “This was my home, where I was born.”
—Judith Mahoney Pasternak, 2007 MECA Delegation