The children’s visit attracted much attention in Poland. The Polish First Lady, Maria Kaczynski, invited the group to the presidential palace for a reception. “I think it was the first time that anyone ever danced debkeh (a traditional Palestinian folk dance) in the presidential residence,” said Pitor Puchta, Poland’s representative to the PA. AbuZayd recently visited Poland herself, where she heard of the trip’s success first hand. “Everyone in the government talked to me about how excited, how kind and how polite the children were,” she said.
Both UNRWA and the government of Poland are working to build on the trip’s successes. To solidify the bonds that participants built during their trip abroad, UNRWA has created a special program to reunite participants of the Poland trip as part of its annual Gaza Summer Games.
The Polish government, for its part, has invited another group of children from the Nablus area of the West Bank to Poland for a cultural and recreational trip and hopes to continue such contacts in the coming years. The Gaza-based Polish-Palestinian Friendship Association is maintaining contact with trip participants, particularly those that had medical procedures while in Warsaw.