Molly Kenyon writes:
My co-host Riffat Akram and I were pleased to help Bradford receive visitors from Abu Dis. Of the eight gatherings arranged for Im Shadi and Fatheya, several could provide ongoing contacts.
We were grateful for active participation from our local branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Their AGM was arranged to showcase this visit, and was well-attended despite growing awareness of Covid-19.
Bradford Community Broadcasting https://www.bcbradio.co.uk/ interviewed our visitors live on air, and recorded a more in-depth interview. Fatheya and Im Shadi also recorded a greeting in Arabic for International Women's Day, to be broadcast alongside greetings in other languages from women across the world.
Young students from Belle Vue Girls' Academy https://bvgacademy.co.uk/ felt deeply honoured to meet our visitors, and would like to create a link with a school in Abu Dis.
The Muslim Women's Council http://www.muslimwomenscouncil.org.uk/ held a special meeting with passionate discussion of the injustices faced by Palestinian people.
Another discussion which explored relationships, faith and political issues was hosted by faith-to-faith workers at Touchstone https://touchstone-bradford.org.uk/
At the only Peace Museum in the UK https://peacemuseum.org.uk/ the long-running conflict in Palestine was placed alongside other world-wide and local struggles for justice.
At a musical evening, strong feelings of anger, despair and hope were shared in a different way - including Palestinian songs from Fatheya.
The final event - with special thanks to Riffat as host - brought together 20 women to prepare and eat maqluba alongside far-ranging conversations about issues of justice and peace.
We hope this visit deepened awareness of Palestinian issues among people in Bradford, also that our visitors gained some knowledge of our city's strengths and weaknesses. A visit linked to International Women's Day was a good way to share what women have achieved, and the challenges we still face.