A Golden Week
This was a golden week – for me – thanks to the cricket camp we organised at Shatila.
Cricket is a strange, beautiful game that can be played by boys or girls, tall or small, strong or weak, fast or slow. More importantly it is a game of peace. It brings together Christians and Muslims, Asians and Europeans and all skin colours. Some highlights:
- Day 2. On day 1 we requested- and received - about 25 children in each of the two sessions.
Well done Omar Farran for magnificent organisation. He booked the sports-ground and
invited the children. But on day 2, he and we were amazed when 60 children turned up to
play. News travels fast in Shatila. The children had told their friends that cricket was fun –
and they all turned up.
- The facilitators. Omar enlisted around 10 arabic-speaking facilitators to help the coaches
from Britain. These facilitators had never heard of cricket. But that didn’t matter. They knew
how to manage children. I have never seen such happy and excited children. The facilitators
made that happen.
- The ambassadors. We are now on speaking terms with five ambassadors (Britain, India,
Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh – the cricket playing nations). We
invited them all to watch the cricket. Most of them responded personally and one of them,
his excellency the ambassador of Bangladesh honoured us with a visit.
- Playing cricket. As may be obvious by now I love to play cricket. Sadly, however, I’m not
especially talented. When I play back in England I represent North Middlesex 4 th XI – a proud
team but not one that plays at the highest level. This should mean that I am not competitive.
Quite the opposite. I am. In the attached photo you see me trying to “run out” a nine-year
old boy. As you can see, he and I are both taking the game super-seriously. I like the
expressions of the other children watching. They are amazed and amused in equal measure.
I hope all is well with you.