The Bristol "Evening News" reported Hiba and Rawan's visit to the City in the following way: "Nearly 400 people turned out to hear vetern MP and former City MP Tony Benn speak at a public meeting on the conflict in Gaza.... The meeting was also addressed by Palestinian speakers from the West Bank. Hiba Ayyad a 20 year old student who described how her mother had been killed when Israeli forces shelled her home last September. Another student Rawan Amria 21 from Bethlehem told the meeting about the effects of the Israeli Occupation. She said that movement of people was so restricted it had made it difficult for her to reach the Palestinian capital Ramalla, where she was eventually able to get a visa to visit Britain."
Earlier a party of Palestinians met councillors and officials at Bristol City Council on College Green, to discuss the possibility of a twinning arrangment between the city and a town or project in Gaza to highlight its plight. Easton Councillor Abdul Malik said he hoped to see cross-party support on the council for this idea."
Hiba and Rawan were also asked to speak live on local Bristol Radio about what the twinning network meant to them and the effects of the Israeli occupation on their lives. They both spoke outlining the themes that they later communicated so effectively at the Stop the War public meeting.
Many people spoke to Hiba and Rawan after the meeting and their interest and questions underlined the impact of having grassroots speakers from Palestine and the enormous effect this has in creating awareness of Human Rights issues in relation to the illegal Israeli occupation but also in developing a "hands on and together" approach to creating change being fostered by the groups within the Britain-Palestine Twinning Network.
Jane Collins, my daughter who organised the Bristol visit together with local activists from Bristol Stop the War and I both felt it was a great honour and privilege to be with such warm, friendly and courageous young people on our visits and we. thank them for the chats, laughs and new info. We look forward to the time when we can renew our friendship in the future. We would like to thank all the people who supported this initiative and are now carrying it forward. solidarity Pauline Collins