24 May 2003

Adli visits from Gaza

After some delays Adli flew from Cairo to Manchester. He stayed and worked with his brother first and then came down to stay with his in-laws in East Budleigh, Betty and John Quick. He visited us over three days so Sue got to know him. We were able to discuss the fine details of our future aid to the poorest children of Gaza and how the fine rugs, bags etc that Sawaf and his folk are making from the good wool we took might be sold over here to further our charitable aims. In regard to the purchase of shoes, uniforms etc for the poorest children, it was agreed that Adli would have money sent to his account in Gaza from the a/c of the Dove and the Dolphin. The committee which found those who most needed the food and blankets back in February, will find those children who need these basic things to enable them to get to school. Compared with sending goods the only cost of sending money is the bank charge. Purchasing them in Gaza is very good value (eg leather shoes for boys made in Hebron cost £10) and a bit of money is put into a crippled economy. Adli will of course keep a careful account of expenditure and of those who receive the donated uniforms, shoes, school bags and stationery. We said farewell to Adli on Sunday 11 May when he came to lunch here. We were joined by John Hingley of the original crew and his partner Sue, Phill Ireland and Mel, and by Neil Young the journalist from the Western Morning News. He has since written a powerful column - WMN 24-5-03 - about Adli and the gulf between the Western and the Islamic worlds. Adli left Britain on 15 May and although it took him 2 days he arrived home safely. I recall that I was in my bed here 9 hours after take-off from Tel Aviv! Sue, Dr John Adie and I have been busy collecting,sorting and packing ready for the 40 ft container. Mags Bedford and her daughter Mary (ex nursing colleague) kindly gathered 3 van loads from Exeter and Cornwall. Many beautiful hand knitted and other garments/blankets have been given to the D and D. We thank all those who have donated things and sent their best wishes for the mission. A steady flow of new contacts continues.