for my first trip to the middle east, i traveled with other students in the harvard human rights clinic, on a joint fact-finding project with law students at the al quds university in the west bank. the palestinians and israelis i met and worked with were all absolutely amazing. i am indebted to them for their hospitality, generosity, and all they have taught me. nevertheless, the things i was forced to witness and undergo there made it the most difficult and shocking experience of my life. it left me shaken as no other place has left me before. while i remain committed to the work i started there, i'm not sure how i feel about returning to israel. the place does horrible and crushing things to my spirit. i've never had to say this about any place in all my travels, but i don't think i have the fortitude to stay there for extended periods of time. i suppose i work best within my comfort zone of post-conflict developing countries. i admire and praise those who spend their lives in pursuit of a humane peace in this corner of the world; i will continue to support you every way that i can. salaam and shalom.