Peacekeeping Supergran

Lindsey is 61 years old, is a retired English teacher and lives in the UK. She wants to do more with her new found time than walk the dog and play with her grandson.

Lindsey Sharpe

In April 2014 Lindsey is going to the West Bank where she will stand at checkpoints within the West Bank and at gates of the separation barriers. “It’s on the basis that people tend to behave better if they’re being watched”, said Lindsey.

Lindsey will be working with a team of people from all over the world in a World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme (EAPPI). In the UK EAPPI is run by the Quaker Peace and Social Witness project.

“It’s not an organisation that takes sides” said Lindsey, “we’re pro-justice. It takes a position of principled impartiality, which means it doesn’t take sides but it’s for human rights.”

Lindsey’s first experience of the region was in her youth when she went to Israel with friends to work on a kibbutz. “I saw all of the problems very much from the Israeli side then because that’s who I was mixing with,” she said.

“Later on, my husband who’s a GP had the opportunity to do a sabbatical in Nazareth. The whole family went. We began to see it differently because Nazareth is an Israeli/Arab town. We began to see another side to what was going on. “

Lindsey continued to return to the area, to visit her daughter who was teaching in a Palestinian music school and to work with the charity Amos Trust.

“Over the years I’ve gone out there and I’ve made friends and I really respect the people,” said Lindsey. “Whenever Israel and Palestine are mentioned, whenever I see anything about it on the telly, whenever we pray about it at church it always makes me cry. I always think I want to be there I want to do something. I want to stand with these people.”

Lindsey is hopeful about the changes she can make as one person standing at a checkpoint. “We’re part of a well thought out band that’s been there for years and unashamedly, the aim of the programme is to bring an end to the occupation. That might sound very ambitious but if you think about say 25 years ago, we never thought that the Berlin Wall would have come down did we?”

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