Footsteps Through Palestine
Wed 13 November 2019 19:00-21:30
In 2017 a runner from Scotland, a songwriter from Clacton on Sea and a PhD student from Leeds met. In Palestine. All three were visitors for the first time, and they have each been drawn back again for very different events but with one motivation: to experience the culture and beauty of the Palestinian landscape and people, to take back with them the stories that evolved, and most importantly, to speak about what they had seen.
Life under occupation and siege is the daily reality for the people of Palestine. Lewis, Adrian and Ann Marie were free to leave, to go home. Witnessing first-hand the brutality of the Israeli occupation changes you: to do nothing is no longer an option.
So, in May this year Lewis did something mad. He ran across Palestine. 11 days, 11 half marathons, 231km, and 315,000 steps were covered with one mission in mind – to gather the personal stories of those he met, who live under occupation every day. Lewis will take us on a journey with him through Palestine, as he ran along the Separation Barrier, a wall built by Israel ostensibly for 'security reasons' which prevents the movement of Palestinians between Israel and the West Bank (where 85% of the wall is located), disrupts their communities, cutting them off from their land, and providing a mechanism for the expansion of settlements. On route, Lewis met with settlers and Palestinians who live close to the wall, community leaders, politicians, United Nations officials and an Israeli ambassador, and will share some of those encounters. What could possibly go wrong?
Adrian and Ann Marie also returned to Palestine earlier this year with a 40 strong group. Their task was to rebuild a Palestinian home that was destroyed last year by the Israeli Defence Force. With a background in construction, this was the perfect way for Adrian to make a small difference in a situation that on the surface looks hopeless. Ann Marie has returned since, being present when Lewis completed his epic run, and most recently with a group of social workers who met with their Palestinian counterparts to understand how social work helps communities in cities and in the desert to continue to exist and resist the ongoing impact of the occupation.
Adrian and Ann-Marie will take us through some of the realities 'on the ground' in Palestine, of the everyday struggle for a family to live, love and survive under the most incredible pressure. They will recount their time getting to know the Palestinian builders, and the extended community where the demolished house would be rebuilt. They will talk about other projects to create a vineyard in the South Hebron Hills, and to dismantle and rebuild a greenhouse, to create a playground for children in a Bedouin village, projects intended to establish a visible Palestinian presence in areas at risk of settler expansion.
Adrian also has a project underway to bring products to the UK out of Hebron to help the decimated economy of that ancient city, using the funds raised to provide traditional musical instruments for school children in the most pressured parts of Hebron.
Our first performance/show in Aberdeen last month sold out! It was received incredibly well, with one reviewer stating that it was:
‘An eye opening, shocking, entertaining and uplifting evening!’
We would love you and your friends to come along for what promises to be an entertaining yet informative evening on Palestine.