Corrymeela Community + Friends
Want an adventure?
You hear before you go that you will see and witness things that might disturb you.
But you still go, because you know there are two sides (at least) to every story …
And you live in Ireland, so you are well aware of conflict and violence.
So you go, suspecting that because there are two sides to every story, the oppressed must be tormenting their oppressors - you maybe even suspect that somehow, in a strange way, the oppression is almost justifiable. You look for the ways you can make sense of mindless violence and political oppression.
On all sides.
And then you go and meet a Palestinian farmer whose land is the last surviving hillside in his region not to be occupied as Israeli settlements encroach.
The farmer speaks to you, and explains that the Israeli army came (again) just a few nights before, with diggers, and dug up 1500 fruit trees that were ready for harvest.
Just dug them up. Destroyed the harvest. Destroyed a livelihood.
But then, the farmer turns around and tells you that the motto of their family farm – written on the gate, open to the world is:
“We refuse to be enemies.”
And you realise, you had better try to leave your preconceptions at that gate, and listen …
Then you travel to a school in Haifa. In Israel.
And you meet a Jewish headmaster who runs a progressive Jewish educational centre.
And in your mind, deep down, you want to blame him for the actions of the army.
But he introduces you to his students.
And those students, talk about the world they want to live in.
And the first thing one of the students tells you, is that she wants to live in a world where she can get the bus at her local bus stop without rockets being fired toward the bus stop.
you know that listening might be all you can do.
And so you open your heart and mind,
and the Middle East rolls in.
Folliwing on from several student initiatives in Palestine and Israel, Rev Dr Julian Hamilton is facilitating a Trinity College Staff Peace Pilgrimage in June 2017.
The group will travel through the West Bank, and along with a religious pilgrimage trail, will stop and have meetings and discussions with people who work for justice and peace on many sides of the violence in the region. You will meet with farmers dedicated to non-violent resistance in the midst of occupation; young people investigating ways to stand against injustice; with educationalists and Palestinian working for peace. You will also meet Israeli young adults, and hear of their experience living on the outside of the Wall; you will meet with Israeli young people working for fairness and peace, and listen to their narratives as you visit Holy Sites in this damaged land.
Working alongside Grace Tours, Sites visited will include Jerusalem (Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Via Dolorosa, Garden Tomb, Old city, Dome of the Rock, etc.), Bethlehem, Galilee, the Mediterranean coast, the Dead Sea, Jericho, Qumran ...
Dates: c.18th -26th June 2017
(supplementary cost for single room, €240)
Closing Date for Application: October 30th 2017.