Returning to Palestine ~ A Year Later


Jerusalem’s Occupied Old City
Photo Credit: Dawn

It all started with an email from the General Council office in Toronto with the caption: “Urgent ~ EA Needed.” There was a last minute vacancy in EAPPI Group 50, and the United Church was looking for a volunteer. And so it is that I now find myself once again preparing to take up this work for justice and peace in a more tangible way. I arrived today to the sounds, sights and smells of Jerusalem ~ a city of both trouble and beauty. Orientation begins in the morning. It’s good to be here!

Mohammed ~ Um Al Kher ~ South Hebron Hills Photo Credit: Jan

Mohammed ~ Um al Amad ~ South Hebron Hills
Photo Credit: Jan

My assignment is for 3 months ~ November 2-January 31. During this time, I will live in the city of Yatta in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Our team consists of 4 EAs representing 4 countries ~ Canada, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland ~ working mainly with the  threatened herding communities in the South Hebron Hills. We are part of Group 50 ~ 33 people from 14 different countries, living and working in 8 communities in occupied Palestine.


Under the Olive Trees
Beit Jalla ~ Fall 2012
Photo Credit: Ellinor

I am grateful for the faithful commitment of the United Church of Canada to the work of justice and peace through their support of EAPPI. I am humbled and honoured to accept this opportunity and all that it will bring. I invite you to travel with me. May the experiences I will share and the stories I will tell here enrich our understanding, open our hearts, solidify our commitment, and contribute in some small way to our joint work for human rights, dignity, justice and peace.

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17 Responses to Returning to Palestine ~ A Year Later

  1. Juliane says:

    Dear Dawn,
    it sounds as if you never have been away from Palestine; and your heart probably wasn’t away…
    I am looking forward to read your blogs and hear about your work in SHH.
    Take care and my heart is with you

  2. Rob Wells says:

    Good luck Dawn. I just got home from Nancy’s and Chris’s All saints’ day amazing service. The only thing lacking was your fantastic violin playing and your always warm smile. We all miss you and we’re blessed to have someone like you to advocate for peace and justice.



  3. Dawn, it’s good to hear your feet are “on the ground”!
    We will travel with you, Anne Mc.

  4. peter says:

    Dawn, so glad you made it safely. I guess it will be Yatta, Yatta, Yatta for the next few months. I look forward to your postings.

    Big Hug!!


  5. Carolyn McDade says:

    How great that you arrive on the new moon. I am with you for these next three moons. I feel you are right for this work and witness. . . I am here with support in whatever way you need. love, Carolyn

  6. Carol & Pam says:

    Dawn, We (Thais, Lesley, Pam and Carol) just “broke bread” with your honey! We miss you already. Hope you’re well!
    Be safe!
    Carol & Pam

  7. Annabel and Don Sheppard says:

    Good to hear you have arrived safely to continue this important witness and work.
    Keeping you close to our hearts,
    Annabel and Don

  8. Theresa Wynn says:

    It’s wonderful to hear your voice from across the globe. We missed you this morning but are willing to share you with these people for this most important work. May God bless and keep you safe. Thank you for sharing via your blog.

  9. Janice Young says:

    Dawn, what an incredible opportunity for you to be back among these people you love as an advocate for justice and peace. We’ll look forward to hearing your reports and will hold you in our hearts. God bless you.

  10. Margaret Robertson says:

    Glad to hear you have arrived safely. We miss you but send our loves and hugs with you on this important journey. Marg Robertson

  11. sherryannea2 says:

    Dear Dawn,
    Thank you for inviting us to learn through your eyes and your heart as you accompany the peoples of the South Hebron Hills… We walk with you…
    with deep gratitude,
    Sherry Ann

  12. Marilyn says:

    Hi, Dawn,
    So good to know that you are already there and starting the orientation. This work is so important — I will be thinking about you. Stay warm 🙂

  13. Patricia Moore says:

    Go forth and fly, my spirit sister! The work that calls you is the work that must be done. We’ll cover for you here. Sending lots of love and support. Pat

  14. Edward Berg says:

    Thank you for the msg. Cool greetings from snowy Edmonton

    Bonnie Berg Sent from my iPhone

  15. Esther Oaks says:

    Sorry I wasn’t present to wish you well on your new journey. This is a challenge that you are well able to fulfill. It seems you are being challenged to use your considerable knowledge and expertise to bring justice to the Palestinians in an untenable situation. I have been in conversation with two people in the pasr few days who have just returned from tours to Israel, one a Jewish woman and the other a Christian woman of the Roman Catholic tradition. They didn’t see any injustice and expressed “disappointment” over the need for the wall in Israel, but saw it as a necessity to prevent further violence. Interestingly, the RC woman had a Muslim Palestinian and a Christian Palestinian guide yet didn’t see any problem other than crossing checkpoints when the two Palestinians were in the front seat of the car. Her husband had to sit on the front passenger seat to make these passages easier. Your work is essential. Do take care, Esther

  16. Joan billau says:

    I trust with new email sign-in I will actually be able to comment on your blogs this time…here’s hoping! You know I connect with you energetically on a daily basis on your synchronistic sacred journey. You are back where you wanted to be. Blessings. Joan

  17. Dawn, I am so thrilled for you. You are heading into the area where I served in spring of 2011. Then the Hebron team also visited South Hebron Hills. Please pass on greetings to Nasser and Abed of Susiya, Eid and family of Um el Kher, and, very special hugs and kisses to Alia and family of Wadi Hussein. Blessings to your team.

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