It wouldn’t be possible to close this blog without giving my hugest of thanks and love to Marwen. Marwen is simply a unique force of nature. He has been our guide, our translator, our cultural adviser, our protector and our friend throughout this journey. This man has been in prison 7 times for his non violent resistance activity. He is the person who goes out to communities on behalf of the Amos Trust and builds the relationships that enable people like me to take part in this work.
He and his beautiful family – only some of whom you can see in these pictures, are extraordinary people. When we asked each of his children what they wanted to be when they were grown each of them simply said ‘free’.
This is what their father works for every day of his existence.
Thanks also to Chris and Nive from the Amos Trust – one the coolest and funniest vicar I imagine in existence and the other a leader we could all out our utmost confidence in no matter what.
I have been so affected by this experience. What comes next so don’t know, but I know there will be more.
If you would like to find out how you too could get involved in helping to rebuild homes in Palestine, or to take part in in a range of other humanitarian projects, or to come to this country to take part in an ‘alternative’ pilgrimage then visit www.amostrust.org
Alternatively our musical genius of a build companion on this trip, Martin Joseph, is planning through his trust www.letyourself.net to build a new arts wing in a village in Guatemala in January or February 2016 and is looking for volunteers of all backgrounds, faiths or no faith at all to help. Go to the site to read more about this project.
I am so grateful to all of those people back home in Scotland who helped Claire and I raise nearly £4000 funding to go into the costs of the house and the family we have just – we hope – helped to rebuild. I talked about this when we shared the iron brew around all involved In the project and the family in our quache which will stay with the family now in their new home. Everyone here is now in love with Scotland.
I will now be lending myself out to all and sundry – anyone who will have me – to bear witness to the stories of the people I have met and now count in my heart as friends. I promise you it will be a thought provoking presentation.
Please do just let me know if you have a group or organisation who might be interested! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will come with the stories I have heard from the people I have met to tell them to you directly as I promised them I would do.
If, like me, your understanding of the complexity of situation in the Middle East is limited and you would like to understand more about it, then this a really good site to visit. “9 questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask”
There are other ways you too can join the beautiful resistance movement. You come to Bethlehem and stay in one of their hotels, buy from their shops, eat in their restaurants. Bethlehem should be a thumping centre of tourism but it lags way behind Jerusalem in this because it is in Palestine. It’s a great town and a beautiful place and despite the armed presence I have never felt so welcomed and safe.
There is a Bethlehem and surrounding walled area marathon also annually – the Amos Trust is organising trips so that people from the UK who like to run – or those who would like to jog or walk the 10k can do so in solidarity with the Palestinian people in this way too.
There is also an annual music festival to which visitors and performers are enthusiastically welcomed.
If you do choose to take yourself to Palestine in the future, I might see you there.
And always…give it and its people my love x