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Interesting atmosphere. Ramallah
Photo: Eli Mandelbaum
Ramallah: Crossroads for different cultures
Any observer of West Bank city can testify that it has a definite international presence. Like any cultural mixing ground, cultural exchange going on in Ramallah is not always easy and comfortable
VIDEO - For many Palestinians in the West Bank, Israeli restrictions on movement coupled with economic conditions mean that travel and direct encounter with the world outside the West Bank is rare.

 

Despite Palestinians' limited opportunities for travel, the city of Ramallah, home to the PA, diplomatic missions and NGOs has become recognized as a crossroads for interaction of different cultures.

 

Video courtesy of jn1.tv

 

The West Bank political and economic reality has spawned its own particular social reality in Ramallah. Foreign donors and international NGOs bring with them foreign national employees.

 

Citizens of Western countries visiting Ramallah or coming for an extended stay has become a common occurrence.

 

Many internationals in Ramallah come for professional or educational purposes. But opinions differ as to what motivates foreign nationals to stay in Ramallah.

 

Arab culture is famous for hospitality. Often foreign nationals receive a warm welcome from Palestinians.

 

But mixing different ways of life is not always smooth and problem free, especially in a largely traditional society which is also a conflict area suffering from an unstable political situation and high poverty and unemployment rates.

 

Tensions can run under the surface for political and economic reasons.

 

While joining different cultural backgrounds carries complications, there are many in the West Bank who are optimistic about the overall result. Some see that the presence of different lifestyles has allowed Palestinians to consider different ideas and to draw from different experiences.

 

Any observer of Ramallah could testify that the city has a definite international presence. Like any cultural mixing ground, the cultural exchange going on in Ramallah is not always easy and comfortable.

 

Yet many would say that with what it carries of both positives and negatives, the mixing of Palestinians and foreign nationals has now become a familiar aspect of life in Ramallah which gives the city an interesting atmosphere.

 

 

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