West Bank runs report 2019

Small Park BIG Run is proud to have run in Sheffield, together with seven different runs across Palestine

There were four runs in the Gaza Strip, in Khan Younis, Nusseirat, Khaza’a and Jabalia refugee camp.  Three runs took place in the West Bank, in Nablus, Ramallah and Bethlehem, all running under a wonderful logo made by Wala’a from Nablus, Run for Freedom

The Nablus Run was organised by Run for Freedom.  Waala’a from Run for Freedom said ‘we are so excited about this event, this is our first time to go from local to global, we have arranged a lot of events in Palestine, but this is our first joint action’.  (Nearly as excited as SPBR!).  They organised a 2K fun run inside the park in Nablus with lots of activities for the children.  They produced special T shirts linking SPBR with their Run for Freedom.  Wala’a said after the run, they were so happy and now they are thinking of a family race that everyone can share next year too! 

The Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem run was for all ages, running from the Israeli checkpoint (Bethlehem 300) to Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. The runners ran in Run for Freedom t shirts, with an image showing the runners breaking through the apartheid wall.  They built a model separation wall in the Refugee Camp to break through on the final lap of the run, and had banners No to the Deal of the Century.  The run was at the same time as the Lord Mayor set off the SPBR Fun Run in Meersbrook Park.  Anas from Aida Youth Centre, who organised the run, sent SPBR some photos and said the run was amazing and that they had a good time.

And in Ramallah, around 240 participants participated in the run ‘From Sheffield to Palestine, Together We Run for Justice and Dignity’.

The majority of runners were children, from five refugee camps in the central West Bank: Al-Jalazoun, Birziet, Qalandia, Al- Am’ari and Ein Areek. The main challenge the run encountered was the late arrival of the bus coming from Qalandia Refugee Camp due to the traffic congestion at the nearby Israeli checkpoint. The event started with opening speeches in both Arabic and English – the Head of the Executive Office of the Refugees in the West Bank, delivered the speech in Arabic, and the speech in English was delivered by Ms. Sadeel Sahraya, a high school student from Birziet Refugee Camp.  Following the run, the participants received the certificate signed by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. Afterward, participants gathered to perform the Palestinian Dabke dance.