Dialogue and sharing: language courses in Jerusalem, Bethany and Sabastiya

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“Ciao, come stai?” – “Hello, how are you?”

In Bethany, the city of Lazarus, as well as in Sabastiya and Jerusalem, ATS pro Terra Sancta held free language copurses as support to the Christians of the Holy Land or to those who work in the projects of the NGO at the service of the Custody of the Holy Land, projects that mostly take place in collaboration with the Mosaic Center Jericho. Among the participants is Mahamoud, who attends a youth association in the city of Lazarus, knows Italy for art and football, but driven by curiosity towards this culture, he joined the course. “Today I learn pronouns, numbers, adverbs but in the future I hope to visit Italy, maybe on a honeymoon to Venice or Rome”.

Shady, on the other hand, works together with Rami in the Mosaic Guest House of Sabastya and Nisf Jubeil, structures that in recent years have been welcoming many pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. “Samaria is beautiful – says Shady, showing off her good English – for us the guest is sacred, so we want her to feel at home welcoming him in the natural and artistic beauty of our land. This is why even being able to speak in the language of whom you meet is the best way to welcome the other “. The course also takes place with the women of the Ceramic Center of the village of Nisf Jubeil right in the laboratory. “We have learned to create beauty now we also want to learn how to sell it,” says Ruwaida next to the beautiful dishes and bowls still to be decorated. A language, as widespread as English, can be a great opportunity for growth especially for those who live in a small and almost isolated village in Palestine now more and more ready to welcome new curious visitors not only to buy a product but to understand the history of who produces them.

In Jerusalem Jovitte is the smallest and the best of the Italian course that is held for the first time by the Arabs of the parish of Jerusalem. The initiative was commissioned by the parish priest between Fr. Nerwan and Fr. Ayman who understood how important Italian is for their faithful sometimes even just to follow the celebrations (Italian is the official language of the Custody of the Holy Land). “The water costs 3 shekels” says Rìcardo, for him who has a small shop near New Gate in the old city in Jerusalem, learning the language is very useful. “We do not even speak English” timidly repeat two young Coptic wedding couples, “but do not worry – says Corrado, a volunteer of the association, who teaches – when you learn you have to be like children, learning to listen and repeat sounds by associating them with simple images “. He, together with Lapo, through gestures, images and a lot of will, teaches his own language.

Sometimes moments happen that you do not expect as when in class Frida, in total confusion, is helped by her son. Between work and family many of these young people are already mothers and fathers, but the hope for everyone is to continue studying Italian / English in the future, a great opportunity because the language remains the most important means to know each other and for to dialogue, a great instrument of peace.

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