Rebuilding Homes & Hope in Palestine. Come with us.
I borrow these first lines from our wonderful friends at Amos Trust, who brought us to Palestine:
“There is a beautiful Arabic word ‘Sumud’ which translates roughly as steadfastness. It has come to embody the idea of resisting the occupation by remaining on the land, despite the intense pressure to leave. We love the idea that existing is resisting and are committed to standing alongside our Palestinian brothers and sisters as they choose to remain.” -Nive Hall, leader at Amos Trust
Along with visiting our beautiful project at the Alrowwad Theatre in the Aida refugee camp last April, Martyn and myself were given the opportunity to visit and share in other social and cultural events with our hosts, Amos Trust and Holy Land Trust. We met Palestinian and Isreali organisations working for peace and human rights, we visited historical and religious sites on both sides of the wall, and we met dozens of wonderful people in local communities.
Easily the most moving moment in a week of moments was the day we went to Alkhuder village to visit the Abuakar family. I remember it was a Friday, and as we stood looking at this pile of rubble of twisted cables and broken cement, we were told that on Wednesday it had been their home. As the grandfather explained to us through an interpreter that this was the fourth time their home had been demolished, the father swept around making sure we were all comfortably seated in the shade, and that we had enough water and coffee.
A man with no home’s first thought was to our comfort, as was the custom he had been taught with regard to hospitality and guests. Two boys poked around on the pile of dusty cement, and I wondered if they stood on the remains of what was once their bedroom. As we stood in the 26(C) degree heat, sipping our cups of bottled water obviously purchased by the father for our visit, we learned that the drinking well the 70 year old grandfather had taken 2 years to dig had been filled in by the bulldozer, for good measure. It’s when we were shown the tents they lived in now, and I spotted the mother tucked into the corner, rocking her 40 day old infant, that I started to cry.
Illegal home demolitions have been identified as one of the most brutal tools used by the Israeli occupation to deliberately intimidate Palestinians and force them from their land. In an act of solidarity, Amos Trust and Holy Land Trust have committed to a campaign of non-violence that helps return palestinians to their land by rebuilding their demolished homes.
On April 7th, 2015, Martyn Joseph and myself will return to Palestine to partner with Amos, Holy Land, and a team of volunteers to help rebuild one such home. And we want you to come with us.
Here are the specifics:
The dates of the rebuild are Tuesday 7 — Saturday 18 April 2015. To join the team of Amos Trust volunteers you will need to raise £2,000.
- £1,000 goes towards flights, accommodation & food for the 12 day stay
- £1,000 goes towards the rebuilding costs
With 25 volunteers, the £25,000 that is raised will build the home. There is limited time to sign up, so please be in touch ASAP if interested via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More details on the build can be found here.
Along with the chance to be a part of this community rebuilding a home, there will also be time to visit historical sites in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Hebron, as well as time to relax, shop and possibly an excursion to walk and reflect in the desert.
Additionally, Martyn and myself will also be going for a visit to Alrowwad, to check in with Abed and the kids and see how they’re enjoying their new instruments, computers, cameras and books as funded by our first project.
Our aim is not only to transform the lives of the family whose home has been destroyed, to give hope to the local community, but also to stand in solidarity against the injustice of home demolitions, so that they are know they not forgotten by the rest of the world.
If this speaks to you, and you can, please join us.