How can I put my thoughts into words in a way that will allow you to capture the spirit on this convoy? And the music blaring away in this room is proving to be a hindrancec I need to get away from. Right next to me are two gentlemen deep in a discussion of Palestinian right of return & the Jews right to the land.
Back home we're so used to the Palestinian issue being seen as a Muslim one, with very little support from our non Muslim friends. Our appeal has largely gone unheeded. Sure they feel sorry for the Palestinians but very few have taken that extra step. Where here so many have taken thousands of steps towards relieving some of the extreme hardships of an entire oppressed people.
The Irish are an exemplary lot. A Catholic church so enraged by the murders on the Mavi Marmara raised funds for the purchase of a vehicle & filled it wheelchairs, medicine and other kinds of medical aid. Another group of irish contributed yet another vehicle. The Irish are a loud, strong and totally dependable team. They hoist their flag up alongside the Palestinian's everywhere we go. And when the crowd chants Allahu Akbar will chorus right along. In the words of one of them "where you find oppression you'll find the Irish."
Then there's Pat the New Zealander with strong sense of justice. A simple man, an electrician he'd never travelled beyond his homeland & look at where he is now.
The Americans are here too to make the difference their leadership is incapable of.
And then there's Russ; a tattoo clad, tough & intimidating man with the gentlest of hearts that is reflected in his eyes. It wasn't long into the convoy when everyone realised that he's the man. An experienced driver, he has been put in charge of the road trip of this convoy and what a job he's doing. When our team got lost one night we had no doubt that Russ would rescue us. The sweeper, or the last man, he makes sure everyone & everything is in place.
The Birmingham boys, many of them Pakistanis are another lot to be admired. They raised GBP55,000 & came so prepared that they've got radio communication between all their vehicles.
There are so many more I hope to make acquaintance with & write about but undoubtedly my fellow convoy members have left me absolutely inspired. Back home sometimes we feel so alone but now I know I've got so many friends I can count on. And this music is still driving me up the wall.
I am once again reminded of heschel's words, "few are guilty but all are responsible."