Monday, 6 October 2014
Palestinian Children come to Chester to tell their stories and share their lives.
A group in Chester is giving Cestrians a chance to meet and talk to young Palestinians about what it is like to live and go to school in the West Bank. The public meeting will be held in the POP-UP Gallery next to Alexander's in Rufus Court, Chester CH1 2JW, from 4pm on Sunday 12th October (next Sunday) Entrance to the meeting is absolutely free, but there will be Palestinian Snacks and a hearty English Stew available for which donations are requested. The Children are mainly between 13 and 15, and they very much hope to meet children of their own age as well as adults.
The Group also includes Adam Halabiyeh, 18, who, with a friend Johar, was shot in the legs multiple times by Israeli Soldiers on his way home from Football training. When asked where he had come from, and he said 'football training', they broke both boys' knees. They were held in an Israeli Detention Centre for four days, then treated at the family's cost in Jordan, as no hospital in Palestine could treat their injuries. On his return, Adam was arrested and imprisoned for three months. Once again, after a campaign by Camden-Abu Dis Twinning group, who have organised this visit, he was released without charge.
Adam cannot play football any more, but the other boys will play five a side against a Lache team at 'Goal' in Bumper's Lane at 13:00, and other teams (age about 14) can contact Rod Cox if they would like to play (Rod@cape.uk.net).
Rod Cox, of Chester Friends of Palestine said: "The devastation of Gaza outraged everyone. But the Humiliation and suffering in the West Bank, of teenagers especially, continues quietly and gets daily worse. Israel imprisons children without trial or charge in violation of the Geneva Conventions, and ignoring the world's condemnation. In Football their Government's Apartheid Policies of discrimination against Palestinians is also illegal, and a particular target of the Kick Racism out of Football campaign instituted by the English FA."
"There are always voices to be heard making excuses for Israeli behaviour, but it is rare for people to be able to meet and talk directly with Palestinians, so we hope as many as possible will take advantage of the opportunity."
The Mayor of the Town is also on the tour, and with excellent translators, the organisers hope that he, Adam and the Children from this Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis will be able to answer everyone's questions, and everyone will have the chance to meet and talk with them while sharing a mint tea or Humous Dip.