Name: Raneen Abdilaziz
From: Nablus city
Occupation: Interior design student at Al Najah University
I live in Nablus city; I’m currently in the second year at al Najah University. I learned about Jumpstart through a friend of mine who volunteers at the Relief International office in Nablus. The work is so nice, I’m really enjoying it; the atmosphere is great, the people are fun to work with and the end result of the project is so useful. It also gives us the opportunity to learn more about our cities and villages, many of which I've never visited or knew existed. It is also very important for the public to eventually be able to get the geographic data freely and easily and for Palestine, in general, to have it’s own map of the road system.
Name: Mutaz Al slem
From: Nablus city
Occupation: Economics student at AL Najah University
I live in Nablus city, a large city in the north of the west bank. I found out about the Jumpstart project through the Relief International. I think this project is one of the best projects that has ever been undertaken in Palestine.
The way of the work is simple and easy to understand; this is especially the case because the supervisors are very good to us, they encourage us to work and to do something useful for our beloved Palestine. We truly feel that we’re all one family here doing a very useful project that gives us the opportunity to expand our knowledge about places in Palestine while having the potential to benefit things like tourism and business development. I feel it's very important for Palestine to have its own maps and not to be connected to the Israeli one.
Skills: Civil Engineering
I finished university in June of last year (2008) and after that I stayed unemployed for a few months. Then, in November I started a training program at The Rehabilitation Committee which lasted until December which is when I heard from my cousin about the position with Jumpstart in Hebron, and I came.
I like it, it's an interesting job and there are so many nice people working with me. Like I said, before moving to Jenin with Jumpstart, I was living and working in Hebron on the same project. It was really good, now we are doing the same great work in Jenin. However, I think Jenin is a very boring city, all the shops close at 5pm at the latest, so I pass my time at home watching TV or playing cards.
In Hebron we did two things, GPS surveys and drawing maps, now in Jenin, we do that in addition to training the volunteers. Our volunteers are students, currently they have free time to work because they are on winter holiday, but on sunday their school will start again and they'll go back to their studies.
When the West Bank project finishes, I would love to continue with Jumpstart mapping some other place, but it's difficult for me as a girl because my family won't allow me to travel.
Skills: Architecture Engineering
I'm originally from the center of Hebron. I graduated from university in November and after that I didn't even have to look for a job because my friend Enas told me about Jumpstart.
Originally I was with Jumpstart in mapping Hebron, now they have moved me to Jenin. I preferred Hebron because Jenin is a very boring place, there is nothing to do here for fun after work.
We start our days in Jenin by going to the villages around Jenin; there are many villages here so we keep busy. In the villages we walk along each road, recording their locations with a GPS and writing the names of the roads in our notebooks. We also record the names of points-of-interest and mark them in the GPS as waypoints. Our points-of-interest include shops, pharmacies, universities, schools, organizations, government buildings, etc. After our fieldwork we go to the Relief International computer lab. There we input the data we collected into the computers and draw the streets and the points-of-interest on our map. For lunch, we go to the apartment and we all eat together, I especially enjoy this time with my teammates.
Of course the war in Gaza affected me, it made me sad and frustrated to see on television what was happening to our people.