The view from Ramallah
I bought a digital camera the other day in Ramallah. The camera store looked like any you'd find in the States: lots of digital cameras behind display cases, big photo processing machines behind the counter, that plastic camera store smell. The main difference is that even in a camera store, with prices marked on each item for sale, one bargains for the final price.
A Palestinian guy named Ibrahim, who I know from the university, accompanied me on my buying excursion and helped me bargain. We knocked off 200 sheqels from the sticker price -- that's about $44 -- plus got a 128 MB memory card for free. I bought last year's little shiny Canon 3.2 mega pixel camera that's shaped like a pack of cigarettes. I wanted something I could fit in my pocket. All together, it came to $265, which is more than I would have paid in the States, but I had to have a camera, and my other one is broken, sitting in a friend's apartment in Amman.
Here are some photos, then. The first, Ramallah at sunset. Second, my home. Following, the view looking west, near my house. Then, my street, looking from my house. Finally, the central square of Ramallah, Al-Manara, which means lighthouse, although, if there was ever a lighthouse (I was told it was actually an early street-lighting tower), it's since been replaced by a rather unattractive metalic sculpture.