A sixty-five-year-old Irish activist, who set off to Palestine from Calais to raise awareness about the plight of refugees and human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, reached the Albanian port city of Durres on Saturday.
Mick Bowman crossed France, Switzerland and Italy to reach Albania last week and will continue to walk through Greece, Turkiye and Jordan to reach the Occupied West Bank in Palestine.
He began the 2,200-mile journey from Calais on 16 April last month.
“Now half-way through my walk to Palestine, I’ve also had the opportunity in the three countries I passed through, to have many conversations about the great injustice faced by the Palestinians. I got to speak with fellow pilgrims when I was walking along the Via Francigena, and also at events,” said Mick.
“At the one in Bologna in Northern Italy a couple of weeks ago, there was outrage at the worsening situation for the Palestinians due to the increased violence by the Israeli security forces and armed gangs of illegal settlers.”
Mick also highlighted the Israeli invasion of Jenin in the Occupied West Bank that continued for approximately 48 hours on 3-4 July, resulting in the killing of 12 Palestinians – including 4 children, wounding 120 and the destruction of nearly 80 per cent of the Jenin Refugee Camp’s homes and infrastructure.
He added, “Like other supporters of the Palestine cause, the Israeli war crimes in Jenin outraged me. It’s made me more determined than ever to use my walk to raise awareness. This helped keep me motivated during the heat wave which has made walking very challenging at times.”
Now three months into the journey, his aim has been to draw attention to the occupation of Palestine and inspire more people to campaign for change.
“There’s really encouraging interest already from the Albanian media and I’m hoping to build on this over the coming weeks to raise the Palestinian cause with as many people as possible. I’ll do all that I can to help spread the idea of justice for the Palestinians,” said Mick.
Inspired by the book, Walking to Jerusalem: Blisters, hope and other facts on the ground, by Justin Butcher, his trek follows the Via Francigena (“the way through France”), Europe’s oldest cultural and trade route, as well as an ancient Christian pilgrimage route.
Disclaimer: Irish activist continues his 2,200 miles walk to Palestine - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view