23.03.2017 11:51

Brno is so different from my Palestinian home, says Erasmus student

Autor: Kateřina Bečková | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

Adi Erekat is a 20-year-old young man from Jericho, Palestine. Despite the fact that Palestine is a Muslim country, Adi doesn’t practise any religion. He behaves relaxed and nice, so you wouldn’t guess what horrible things he has already experienced. Listening to his speech I realize how lucky I am to live in the Czech Republic.

In Brno he is studying two programs – one on the Faculty of Social Studies and one on the Faculty of Law, but back home he attended quite different courses. “I studied Al-Quds Bard College of Arts and Sciences, I am focused on architecture.” Thanks to the partnership between his university and Bard College in New York, the courses are taught in English. The educational system varies from the Palestinian one, it copies the system which is typical for English speaking countries. “We focus on essays, but other schools in Palestine do the exams. Professors in my school teach like they want to teach, they really want to give you something.”

If you asked Adi, who has gone through his first month on the Czech university, to compare his university with Masaryk university, he immediately mentions relationship with professors. “It is very informal in my university, I even invited some of my professors to my home and we played basketball. They don’t make you feel like a student and this makes you more attached to learn.”

Adi arrived to the Czech Republic about a month ago. “It is a way different here than back home. There is a lot to experience and to learn, it is all new,” he states and adds that the first week was mainly about getting used to the totally different way of life, “I was very excited but also very afraid the first week, I come from undeveloped country, so it took me while to get familiar with this environment.”

Al-Quds Bard College offered Adi four options where he can travel for Erasmus. He didn’t want to go to US because of Trump’s politics against Muslims. Other options were Portugal and Germany. Finally, Adi chose the Czech Republic, because he heard that the architecture is amazing here. Now, after one month in Brno, his verdict is clear: “Architecture here is very ugly and communist.” However, he admits he hasn’t got time to explore all of Brno’s places of interest so far. On the other hand, he falls in love with architecture in Prague.

Speaking about his home country, Adi has a strong conviction: “I don’t want to live in Palestine forever. Muslim religion can’t be separated from the state rules. Basically, the society lives on the Koran. It kind of blocks the advancement and development.” Adi talks about everyday killing and attacks. He also brings back the conflict between Israel and Palestine. “Every time I say I am from Palestine, people are confused, criticize me and say there is nothing like Palestine.”

As Palestine is not a regular country, Adi has no chance to travel to Israel. “I can’t go for example to Jerusalem because of the security reasons. I have green ID and they only let to Jerusalem people with blue ID. I can only travel to places under the Palestinian supervision.” His mother, who came from the Gaza Strip, didn’t see her family for almost 20 years. She can’t travel there because of these security reasons.

Adi briefly mentioned one moment four years ago, when Israel Defense Forces came to his house, took his dad, who is a farmer, and confiscated his family’s corn fields. “Living in Palestine is really hard,” this nice young man simply concludes. There is no wonder that Adi wants to settle down in a different country and be an activist in the sphere of human rights. 


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