Thursday, 17 December 2009
Hugs in Istanbul
The convoy has arrived in Istanbul and D said 'Hysteria has now set in. I have been triple hugged by a hundred women.'
It is mad but wonderful, we are really exhausted but coping. Feels like we have turned the corner and are actually heading to Gaza.
On the outskirts of Istanbul last night, my van, comprising four 'Aunties' from England, Ireland, Wales and France, was surrounded by emotional women who hugged us and thanked us for coming. It is clear that the fact that we have come from the belly of the beast makes our presence here especially significant to people outside the West.
A little while later, a small girl knocked on the window of our van. When I put the window down, she handed me a beautiful picture she had drawn depicting the friendship between the Turkish and Palestinian people, and asked me to deliver it to the children of Gaza.
We are determined to succeed. The children of Gaza especially deserve to know that we have not and will not forget them.
Joti is now blogging for the New Internationalist