Blind children facing delays at Israeli wall

by
30 April 2009

by Bill Bowder

BLIND and partially sighted children from the Palestinian Territories who attend the BibleLands Helen Keller Centre for the Visually Impaired in East Jerusalem have found their school trip extended by about two hours a day, after their previous route was closed permanently.

The staff and about 25 children up to the age of 13, who used to go through the Ar-Ram passage, a gap left by the Separation Wall, have to take a roundabout route, now that the unfinished section of the wall has been completed.

“These pupils, who are blind and partially sighted, now face an addi­tional journey time of up to an hour or longer, both in the morning and evening when they go home,” said the chief executive of BibleLands, Nigel Edward-Few.

One of the teachers described the conditions that the children face at the Qalandia Passage. “Only one per­son at a time is allowed through. . . The old, the children, and the dis­abled are forced to wait for hours be­fore they are allowed to pass through, and when the time comes, they are called names and yelled at by soldiers. The children, including those with disabilities, are ordered to empty their school bags [and] take off their jackets and shoes.”

Open Bethlehem film: Leila Sansour, founder of Open Bethlehem, which issued Bethlehem “passports” to Pope Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Canter­bury, has formed a company to pro­mote a feature-length film about growing up in Bethlehem.

Speaking to an invited audience at Amnesty International on 30 March, she said she had shot 500 hours of film, but “I still need to raise £60,000 to edit it.”

Contributions to the film can be sent to: All Things Bethlehem, Tipping Point Film Fund, The Studio, 310 King Street, LondonW6 ORR.

email info@tippingpointfilmfund.com for more information

Forthcoming Events

18 October 2018
Church Times Live at CRE 2018
Our panels discuss three key issues: the environment, music and worship, and the church and young people. Book a free ticket.

7 March 2019
Theology Slam Final
New engaging voices thinking theologically about the contemporary world. Read more and enter the competition.

The Church Times Podcast

Interviews and news analysis from the Church Times team. Listen to this week’s episode online

Subscribe now to get full access

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read up to twelve articles for free. (You will need to register.)