Friday, May 18, 2007

First Post

My name is Feroze Sidhwa; I'm a medical student at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Tomorrow I'll fly to London and then on to Tel Aviv, Israel, and from there I'll travel to Hebron (Khalil in Arabic) in the occupied West Bank. There I'll volunteer at al-Ahli Hospital for about six weeks, then fly back to start my second year of medical school.

Internet access permitting, I'll keep this blog updated with my observations of what happens in Hebron, in al-Ahli and in any other parts of the West Bank I can visit while I'm there. I've never blogged before, so I'm not exactly sure how it works, but if pictures can be posted then I'll post my own photographs whenever possible.

About me: I'm a 25-year-old American born in Houston, TX and raised in Flint, MI. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2004 with a B.A. in public health and a strong focus on political science. After Hopkins I traveled to Israel and worked with a Palestinian NGO based in Haifa for eight months. When I returned to the United States I worked as an eighth-grade science teacher for the Baltimore City Public School System at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Baltimore, MD. While teaching I applied to medical school, got into UTHSCSA in San Antonio, and in May 2007 I finished my first year there.

I’ve been educating myself about the Arab-Israeli conflict since my freshman year of college, when the second Palestinian revolt against the Israeli occupation broke out. Depending on how things go I might interject a bit of Arab-Israeli history into my blog; obviously I won’t have any history books with me in Hebron so, if I make minor mistakes vis-à-vis names, dates, etc., please forgive me.

Although it’s irrelevant, I’ll say that I endorse the international consensus on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: full peace in exchange for full withdrawal from the territories Israel occupied in the June War in accordance with international law, especially UN Security Council resolution 242.

Hopefully this blog can bring some everyday events under Israeli occupation to American readers, the only people who could end this conflict tomorrow, were we willing to do so.