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Reflection on my trip to Palestine in 2023

AbdelNaser Al-Hasan, Ph.D.


I took a trip to Palestine December 14, 2022-January 18,2023 with two main goals, visit family and do some charity work for the foundation.

I have witnessed firsthand the needs of the people of Palestine in both the West Bank and Gaza.


I’ve visited villages mostly in the Nablus area. I’ve also visited refugee camps (Balata near Nablus and

Dheisheh near Bethlehem). I’ve also discussed the needs of the people in Gaza with those who know Gaza best.


I am from a village called Luban E-Sharqi which is midway between Nablus and Ramallah on HWY60. I lived there for 19 years under the occupation of Israel. I visit Palestine often and most of my family are there.


Below is my own reflection on my visit.




During my visit, I talked to principals, teachers, and students at various schools in the surrounding areas.

I’ve also talked to community leaders about the needs of their community to better the education experience of the children.


One of the most urgent needs is “support students after school, during breaks between semesters, and during summer.”  Many parents want their children to improve their skills in certain subjects but there are no free resources available to them.


It was evident that both teachers and students are losing hope in the educational system due to the constant attacks by the Jewish settlers and the constant intimidating presence of Israeli soldiers in front of their schools and on the route to schools. Low pay for teachers, lack of support by the current Palestinian government, and social media plays a big role in the weakening of this system.


Most of the schools lack basic needs such as clean drinking water to students, basic technology to

support the growing dependency on technology as an aid to teaching in and out of the classroom, and updated furniture.


All students depend heavily on private tutors during their high school years (10-12 grades). This tradition is becoming the norm and starts during summer of these years. Such tradition is weakening the public sector educational system even further. There is a need to supplement the loss of time in the classroom during the regular academic year due to the constant closure of schools by the Israelis and the constant presence of Jewish settlers and Israeli soldiers in the morning, during, and at end of the day by the schools. Such an intimidated presence on a daily basis is creating an environment in which both teachers and students are constantly thinking of the occupation rather than concentrating on the subject matter. Additionally, such an environment is making it almost impossible for the poor and needy to afford the cost of private tutoring which is putting this subset of the population at a high risk of being school dropouts.


Technological aid resources in the classroom and other venues such as educational centers within the villages can ease such an impossible situation and help students of all ages and all income categories recover the lost time in class and reduce school dropouts.


Two Urgent Projects are needed immediately to help aid students in schools:


1) A call for donating at least 30 computers, several docucams, and one smart board for each

school. Little by little the problem can be solved. Teachers can tape their lessons and students can watch them as many times as they need to outside the classroom.


2) A call to build educational centers FREE of charge to the public. These centers will employ graduates who are unemployed and in particular females to help bring a second income to their families. Centers will provide free tutoring to everyone in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and the languages (English and Arabic). Centers will be open and staffed after school, during semester breaks, during summers, and open to the public FREE of charge. Centers will have computers available to students whose families cannot afford such a cost to watch taped lessons by their teachers, do homework, etc.


I’ve witnessed firsthand how the lack of technology is putting many teachers and students behind. I’ve

witnessed firsthand how parents said, “We cannot afford food, how can we afford to purchase a

computer.” Or having several students in the same household with one computer, these centers will ease such a problem. It is a dire situation for the poor and needy. Again, educational centers are the key to solving such problems.


I’ve witnessed firsthand the cost of private tutoring and in particular to students in the STEM field. It is a

daily struggle for most parents to send their children to take a private math class or a physics class at a

cost of ($20 per lesson). Some gave up altogether and dropped out of high school because they realized higher education is out of reach. First-generation in higher education will be a priority with targeted scholarships that will benefit the community they live in.


I understand that my campaigns for this project do require a large initial investment, but such an initial investment will change lives, families, and improve communities. We need your support.


I have included some pictures on our website, these are real pictures of the daily lives of students and parents. Students are constantly under threat in the morning, during, and after schools by the Israeli soldiers and settlers. Such a constant intimidation by the occupation has only one goal “Keep the children of Palestine Uneducated.”


All the Palestinian children and their parents have dreams like every child and parent in the world, get an education and find a job that can support a family. The occupation has its own hidden agenda “Keep the children uneducated so that they can become laborers and continue to be slaves to the occupation.”


Our educational projects are real and with your help, we will change lives and improve the health of communities.


On the positive side, I have witnessed universities that are to capacity with students whose parents can afford such system, the flip side to this good news is that there are no jobs for these graduates. In fact, when I was there, one position opened for a teacher, more than 1300 applied for it. Most graduates ending up working as laborers for the occupation.




Many older generations 55 years and older are no longer working. Their health does not allow them to

work as laborer. A large subset of this population is now dependent on their children for support.

Some of their children are married with their own families which limits their support to their parents.


There is a population of children ages 21-30 who are not married. They cannot be married because there are no good jobs to support them and their future families. Additionally, the tradition of marriage has changed over the years. Cost is becoming a big issue. Such an unmarried population end up living with their parents.


A large subset of this young generation work as laborers with no job security. Some are working in Israel with a permit. Such a permit is not permanent and at any given time it can be terminated. Some are working illegally in Israel, if they get caught, they will be jailed. Others are working in the illegal

settlements in the West Bank. Again, depending on the political situation, all these laborers could be out of a job without notice. Additionally, such a situation of working for the Israeli’s is changing the narratives towards the occupation.


Others are working in either Ramallah, Nablus, or other large cities in the West Bank for low wages that only cover basic life needs. Of course, there is a subset of the population, 10-15% in the West Bank

who are unemployed and/or have children but cannot work due to physical disability and other obstacles. Keep in mind, most of the bread-earners of the family are the males, females tend to be house-wives. Some of these females are with university degrees.


Gaza is altogether a catastrophe. More than two million people living in an open 363 square Km (140

square miles) prison. Unemployment in Gaza is more than 60%. They need all the help that we can give.


I do not want to sound hopeless, there is hope if each dollar is used in the right place to help the right population. Little by little, village by village, and refugee camp by refugee camp, the situation will

become better and brighter given all the difficulties the occupation is putting on the Palestinian people.


The current campaigns the foundation is running will change many lives for the better. They are real-life projects.




Corruption is widespread in the form of nepotism, employment, and within those who are close to the current power in both the West Bank and Gaza. There are two types of corruption, one that is created by those who are in power and the other is the one created by those who made large amounts of money through illegal and treasonous means. Due to the lack of checks and balances and accountability in the West Bank and Gaza, money laundering is thriving. A very simple example of what corruption created a cup of coffee for $20 dollars in Ramallah, yet the wage of a laborer in Ramallah is about $30/day.


It is unfortunate that certain nonprofit organizations fall into this category as well. Such corruption is putting many families below the poverty line. Such corruption is creating classes within a culture that has been under the occupation for all their lives. One class is the privileged that controls everything and the other class is those who MUST work very hard, if they can, to provide the basic needs for their families. It was shameful to witness such an atrocity.


Inherited Land


This is perhaps one of the most causes of the expansion of the illegal settlements in the West Bank. Such a problem escalated in the late 90’s due to corruption.


Many Palestinians in the West Bank lost land to the occupation including my family, others sold their land for cheap to the few who were benefiting from all the aid that was coming to the Palestinian people and/or the illegal money that exists without any accountability of “Where did you get this wealth?”, and there are those who sold their land to the occupation and used such large sum of money to purchase land from the poor and needy for cheap in other areas. Israel created zones in the West Bank to protect its illegal expansion in the West Bank. Such zones are the clear picture of what the future will look like for the Palestinians.


Some estimates put 10- 15% of the population with no land. This is a real problem because such a subset of the population had drifted way below the poverty line. In fact, some sold all their land for cheap and now they are renters in villages because they have no land to build, or they cannot afford the new cost of the land they sold.


Prices of land increased exponentially in certain areas after it was purchased for cheap from the poor and needy. It is a market that is performed by the privileged few. Such few did steal the land from the poor and needy for nothing and such practice only benefited the occupation. Buying a square meter for $2 and within a year asking $50 a square meter is treason. Yet the law is protecting those who are stealing the land from the poor and needy because some are the creators of such law.


Another big problem with inherited land is the court system. Since most of the land in the West bank was never titled during the Ottoman occupation, families are claiming land that it is not theirs, persons are claiming land that is not theirs, courts are filled with cases about land ownership which is turning families against families. The poor and needy have no chance of surviving such a lawless environment.



The Occupation


The Zionists have been very successful in their work and vision since the late 1800’s. It is evident that there will be no two-state solution based on the 1967 border. The Zionists were able to conquer land in the West Bank illegally and some through corruption and continue to build new and expand illegal settlements. Settlers are migrating to these illegal settlements at an alarming rate. Settlers are becoming more aggressive towards the Palestinians. In fact, they killed Palestinians many under the protection of the Israeli Army. Palestinian land in the West Bank continues to shrink and illegal settlements continue to grow in area and population. Such a situation is unsustainable.


The Divide and Conquer Doctrine


I continue to be amazed how successful the Zionists were able to instill such doctrine within the Palestinians people. I’ve witnessed first-hand brother against brother because one is loyal to the PLO and the other is loyal to Hamas. Such division strengthens the occupation hold on the West Bank and Gaza. Such division allows the occupation to expand in the West Bank with the approval of the UN and the Palestinian Authority.


Of course, the Western narrative continues to support the Zionist vision at the expense of the Palestinian people by labeling certain sector of the Palestinian people as terrorist. On the other hand, the West is ignoring all the terrorist activities and atrocities committed against the Palestinian people by the Israeli Army and the Settlers. This continues to increase the class of Palestinians who are becoming very poor and needy.


The New Generation of Palestinians


The Palestinian Gen Z grow up under the so-called Palestinian Authority with full access to social media. This generation has two characteristics, one that certain subset of this population lost all hopes of the integrity of their government due to the increased corruption activities and lack of such authority from protecting them against the occupation violence towards them, and the other subset is that they are no different than any other Gen Z in the world due to their full access to social media. Some are drifting into activities of doing drugs, alcoholism, and other social activities that are against the norm of good decent society. Keep in mind that the Palestinian society is a homogeneous society.


I’ve witnessed that the percentage of females relative to males in the educational system is almost identical. This means that many are investing in their children’s education regardless of gender. However, higher education continues to be out of reach for the poor and needy, specifically, first-generation. We need to invest in this first-generation population. Having one person from a family attain a good education will lift such family from poverty.


Some are heavily dependent on being a laborer for the occupation which creates another class of thinking towards the legitimacy of the occupation.


On the other hand, some found that resistance is the only way to a prosperous future, and they are paying a heavy price for it with their own lives. Some are jailed by the occupation and others are jailed by their own government. Some are killed by the occupation under the coordination of the Palestinian Authority. Lives are lost, families are destroyed, children are becoming fatherless and some parentless, yet some of these generations are continuing their resistance against the occupation and the current corruption within their society.


Some percentage of this population still live with their parents due to lack of not having a steady job that can provide for a healthy and prosperous future.


The Zionists do understand such situation with this generation, and they are working all angles to either eliminate those who resist their slavery practices towards the Palestinian people or change their thinking to accept the status que as a normal situation.


When you constantly feel that you are less worthy, life will become hopeless.

Below is the quarter of New Hampshire, USA. (Omar Al-Mukhtar said a similar statement in the 1800’s to the British, he hanged for such a statement by the British)





It is no surprise, when the Palestinian people are trying to “Live Free” they are “Killed and tortured under the brand of being a Terrorist.” Ironic, isn’t it? Clearly, since the 1600’s, the strong created such narrative and the weak followed.  Today is still the same, “either you are with us or against us.” I am failing to understand the Western definition of “us.” Who are “us” and what are your goals and objectives towards those who fail to be part of your definition “us”?


It was evident during my visit that many Palestinians who are in power are part of this western narrative “us.” In fact, they also created their own Palestinian narrative of “either you are with us or against us” and they built jails to house those who are not part of their adopted western narrative “us.” It broke my heart to see a Palestinian being jailed by Palestinians for their own thinking, belief or by resisting the illegal occupation or the corrupt practices of their government.


The disadvantaged and their families are left to stand for themselves with nothing, and when you have nothing, you attain nothing. All what we can do is give them an opportunity to improve.


Classes within Classes


Israel is one of the most prejudice countries in the world. Within the Israeli people, there are many classes. The Palestinians who hold an Israeli citizenship are at the bottom of such discriminatory practices.


Yet, within the Palestinian people in the West Bank, I’ve noticed that we do, as Palestinians, started to create our own discriminatory classes against each other.


I can understand the Israeli practices due to the false Western classical narrative that Whites are superior to other races, but I am failing to grasp the classes that exist within the Palestinian people who still live under occupation. Such classes do exist due to corruption and treason, period.


Loyalty to those who are corrupt is growing and it is visionless loyalty. Many became wealthy through illegal means and/or treasonous activities and now they are decision makers. Again, the poor and needy continue to become poorer, underprivileged, forgotten, and have no voice.


Where Aid is most needed?


People in villages and refugee camps are the ones who need immediate help and aid. The Northern part of the West Bank receives the least help. Of course, Gaza needs all the help all the time. Most aid does not reach them. Tremendous amount of money and other resources were donated to the Palestinians people, yet most of these resources disappeared without any accountability.


The Hope Foundation of Palestine is concentrating its work on villages, refugee camps,

and the deprived areas of the West Bank and Gaza.


We have partnered with the Middle East Children Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in California since last year. They do have a trusted team and leaders in Gaza who are working to help those who are in immediate need in an honest and honorable way. The Hope Foundation of Palestine has an excellent team collaborating with leaders in villages and refugee camps in the West Bank. Such collaboration will ensure that each dollar will go to help those in need in the West Bank and Gaza and to improve the education sector.


Your help is needed!


I strongly believe that “Education is the only way out of poverty.”  Help us achieve such goals to better the lives of the children whose families are struggling to sustain their basic needs.




It is evident that the struggle of the Palestinian people will continue if there is an occupation in the West Bank, Gaza is an open-air prison, corruption in the West Bank and Gaza, and treasonous actors within the Palestinian population. The problem is extremely complicated with many contributing factors internally and externally.


Nonetheless, those who are suffering the most are the poor, needy, the underprivileged, and the disadvantaged. They will always need an assistant to live an honorable life with opportunities to exit poverty.


The pledge of our Foundation to you


We are not a political foundation; we have no agenda. However, facts about the increase of the underprivileged population are heavily driven by the political situation in the West Bank and Gaza. We do not promise to solve all the problems, but we promise that we will try our best to create opportunities in the West and Gaza to help reduce the suffering in families with children, create opportunities to stay in school, and create opportunities to help communities find solutions to existing problems.


Every dollar you donate will go directly to the above projects. The board of the foundation is committed to always ensuring that money donated is well-spent with strong transparency. We have no overhead in the USA. As a donor, you can request our financial statement quarterly, or visit our website for an annual statement.


The Hope Foundation of Palestine was created to solve problems that are real. Be part of our team and help empower those who are underprivileged and powerless.


God Bless

Dr. AbdelNaser Al-Hasan, CEO

The Hope Foundation of Palestine

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Let us work together to support Palestine and the Underprivileged of the Palestinian people

We are always looking for new ideas to improve the lives of the Palestinian people. We are always looking for volunteers to help us reach and sustain our goals. Contact us.

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