Reflections on studying and experiencing the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Imagine you intensely study a conflict region and its narratives for a whole year and then you travel to see the situation on ground for yourself. You think that you are well prepared and that you understand why the conflict is what it is. Power imbalances. Corrupt politicians. Contested truths and histories. Legacies from colonial times. Greedy elites. Education systems based on ideologies rather than facts. If not like an expert, you at least feel like a well-educated observer. A student diplomat who knows what she is doing. This is how I imagined myself when I applied for the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) and pretty much throughout the program up until the point where I landed in Amman. I had this glorious image of OTI and myself only to discover that OTI indeed is an incredible program, however, personally I felt much humbled over the course of the trip through Israel and Palestine.