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Bethlehem Marathon with Amos Trust

On 28 March my son George and I will be setting out from

Manger Square at the start of the Bethlehem marathon, George running the half-marathon and myself the 10 k (6.2 miles). We’re very excited about it.

Bethlehem lies in the occupied territories of the West Bank. The marathon was established in 2013 as part of the Palestinian right to movement campaign. Ordinary Palestinians are not only unable to freely travel abroad, they aren’t permitted to freely travel around their own country either. It isn’t possible to

create a 26-mile course without encountering a 30’ wall, a checkpoint or even a trench dug across the road. Marathon

runners must run twice around a 13-mile circuit.

At the first Marathon the friendly and peace-loving Palestinian people were bemused at what they saw, and very few took part. However, it has now become a great event with a party spirit for a people who really don’t have much to celebrate. Since the introduction of 10k and 5k races, many Palestinians and their families take part with great enthusiasm. George and I are very much looking forward to running with them.

We will be travelling with people from the creative Christian charity called ‘Amos Trust’. You might like to find out about the projects they partner and support on their website: We will visit some of the projects for peace and reconciliation, and see first-hand some of the

tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian communities. When we’re back home we’ll invite you to hear our stories from the Holy Land, and the everyday realities of apartheid that we never get to hear about.

George and I are seeking to raise £1000 each in sponsorship.

If you would like to support us you can do it via JustGiving:

Or sign a sponsorship form when you next see me in your church!

Like the psalmist, let us also “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”: peace and security for the Israeli people and for the

Palestinians too.

Iain Macfarlane, February 2020

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