Posted on September 26, 2019, by & filed under News, Study Tours.

Rosemary Garsed presents Rudina Jaber with a gift from New Zealand


New Zealand teacher Rosemary Garsed’s life has been turned upside down since visiting Palestine

In June 2016 Rosemary joined a pilgrimage group to Jordan/Palestine/Israel with members of her church. She was so challenged by issues she encountered she returned to Amman to spend Christmas 2016 with Jesuit priests to learn about working with refugees. From there she was invited to Beirut to look at working in a refugee school that is run by the Jesuit Refugee Service. News reached her of the study tours that are done in conjunction with ICAHD, so Rosemary joined the eleven-day tour in November 2018 because she wanted to increase her knowledge further about what is happening in Palestine and by participating in the tour to show the Palestinians that they are not forgotten.

After returning home Rosemary has been discovering avenues where people in New Zealand can support the Palestinian people but she realized that first they needed to learn about today’s reality in Palestine and so she set about preparing talks.

“I decided to begin each one by showing the 4-minute ICAHD film about the Atta Jaber family. We met them when we went to Hebron and heard their heart-wrenching story of demolitions and settler attacks and harassments. The film works perfectly in setting the scene for what I go on to say. A friend who has attended two presentations said that while I am talking there is utter stillness and total concentration as they listen, and this is because people in New Zealand really don’t know what is happening in Palestine. They don’t know about all the house demolitions!

At every presentation there has been total support for the Palestinian people and horror that no news is ever reported in New Zealand’s main media about what is happening. My largest audience was to the annual Principals’ Conference last month where over 200 school principals were present, and I was one of the three keynote speakers. If anyone had told me last year that I would be able to stand in front of a large group of people and talk without notes for an hour or so I would have laughed at them. I am now being booked for even more presentations!

Since my return I have been promoting ICAHD and I hope that more people from New Zealand will join the study tours.”

Another participant from that tour group, Mary Holmes from London, has just written to say, “I’m so glad I went to Palestine last year. Not only was it an amazing trip but it certainly has been a help both for my understanding and campaigning.  Getting to know the other brilliant people on the trip was also a great plus.”

Bookings are now being taken for the spring study tour, 16 – 26 March 2020. For information about the tour see Demonstrate your solidarity and support of the Palestinian people during their struggle for freedom by joining one of these tours which also connect with ICAHD on the ground. It will change your life!