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Palestine trip about learning, not touring

Dr. Bret Kincaid, Political Science department professor, offers you the trip of a lifetime: ten days of complete emersion in Palestinian life. If you want to understand the truth behind the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, then join others like yourself this Spring Break.

Warning: you may never be the same again.

The purpose of this trip is to break students from an objective perspective of the conflict in Israel and bring them face-to-face with those who live the strife. “With these types of cross-cultural experiences, you can’t help but build relationships,” Kincaid said. “Once you build relationships, you can’t look at the conflict in black and white anymore.”

There will be opportunities to see holy sights, but Kincaid notes this is not the purpose of the trip. “You can always look back at relics,” he said. “These people are living today.”

A strong theme of justice and reconciliation runs all through Scripture, and for only $2,500, this trip offers a chance to act on those themes.

In 2006, Kincaid led his first group into Palestinian territory, and it was so successful, he decided to do it again. Professor Julie Elliott attended this trip, and she still vividly recalls her experience. “For weeks and even months after my return, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about what I saw and the people I met there,” Elliott said.

Kincaid suggests that those who participate this year also sign up for his Politics of the Middle East course in order to grasp the fullness of the conflict.

When you return from this cross-cultural experience, Kincaid says to talk about it “with people on campus, parents, and friends. Raise awareness.”

Elliott agrees. “Those who choose to go on this trip with Prof. Kincaid should expect to meet people on both sides who are at once admirable and broken,” Elliott said. “They should expect to be shocked by the level of injustice they see, but also moved by the level of humanity that manages to survive in such a setting.”

If you have any questions about the trip, contact Dr. Kincaid at bkincaid@eastern.edu.

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