Meet our Steed | Stampede! | Going to Palestine? | Zionists to challenge Nakba Tour
Meet Our Trusty Steed
Drive all of North America? Why?
The whole idea was to make the trip as easy and comfortable as possible for 86-year-old Umm Akram. Air travel would mean going through airports several times a week, so we ruled it out. But if we’re driving, what sort of vehicle? Again, comfort was the consideration, so we got a very specially equipped and fully loaded 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan.
The most important feature is reclining rear chairs with footrests. It’s important for Umm Akram to be able to put her feet up much of the time. But the vehicle also has a DVD theater and lots of other equipment. Do you have DVDs in Arabic that you can donate? We also bought noise canceling headphones.
We also got a perfectly sized futon for Amena,who stows her seat most of the time. She hates chairs, so the tray table that we got for the back of the driver’s seat turned out to be useless. Although the van is roomy, this arrangement took most of the space, so we got Thule’s largest cargo box for the roof rack.
Such a vehicle is not available from any rental agency, so we had to buy it with borrowed funds. This also has the advantage of removing a lot of the restrictions, such as taking the vehicle out of state or to Canada. Our plan is to sell the vehicle when we finish, but if we decide to repeat the tour regularly and that this is the right vehicle, we may try to raise the funds to repay the loan without selling the car.
It has been an amazing car thus far. It had 88,000 miles on it, and the only problem has been a flat tire. it will probably be close to 100,000 by the end of the tour. Wish us continued good luck. Next time we’ll tell you more about the amazing Samir, also a perfect choice, who is doing the driving while filming the Tour. His film will be an amazing, too.
Latest on Amena’s Stuffed Animal Stampede for Palestinian Children
The stampede is on. One of the two large suitcases is already full, but we can fill a second one if we get more stuffed animals. If you wish to contribute, you can send it to Amena’s Stuffed Animal Stampede for Palestinian Children, 405 Vista Heights Road, El Cerrito, California 94530. The toy must be a stuffed animal in new or like new condition and not too big, please. We can include anything that arrives by June 1st.
Going to Palestine?
Our partners, the Northern California chapter of the International Solidarity Movement, are buying and sending video cameras and other equipment to Palestine. They provided the second of Emad Burnat’s Five Broken Cameras and the camera that captured the footage of the Israeli soldier, Elor Azarya, shooting a wounded Palestinian in the head.
But they need lots of volunteers to deliver these cameras. If you can help find travellers willing to do this, please let us know. The cameras are small and light, and we can arrange pickup after you arrive. Many thanks.
Zionists to Challenge Nakba Tour in Columbia, MO
You may find this hard to believe, but there has been almost no overt Zionist challenge to the Nakba Tour at the first 23 events. The two cancellations were due to internal politics within the solidarity community, and only one of the changes of venue may have been due to Zionist pressure. Otherwise, the events themselves have been without serious challenge.
That is about to change. A raucous debate is now taking place in Columbia, Missouri. The latest of two articles in the Columbia Daily Tribune offers some details, and there may be more coverage to come.
What is remarkable is the defence of free speech that is being made by the public library where the event will be held. Of course, anything can happen before the event takes place, but until now the library has been a model of first amendment protection. Many are predicting that the venue will be packed. It may turn out to be the most interesting event of the tour. And yes, the local organizers are planning to film it for later viewing. Stay tuned.