I just wanted to state for the record that it has been an absolute privilege and a honour to be able to witness the final culmination behind months of work fundraising and a precise coordination by myself and the entire Yogabeats Conflict team to put on stage two of the Yogabeats foundation course here on the Canary island of Fuerteventura!
It was truly a magical unique ground breaking event where like minded Yogis between themselves created a safe and peaceful enclave for our students caught in the conflict of the Middle East to study here on this beautiful sunny island.
It all began at the beginning of 2015, with a random email received from Karissa & Jamie Isaacs out of the blue ,whilst I was climbing onto an airline headed for a flight to an Indian Yogabeats retreat inviting me and the entire YBC team ,and all our Palestinian students to enjoy and take advantage of all the facilities of Azul Yoga/Pilates Shalla on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura!
Our students from Palestine were understandably beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of studying and practicing yoga by the ocean,..and so the long and arduous task that this entailed to raise the required finance began.
The goal was to airlift 20 plus students out of The Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Countless Yogabeats fundraising events were held up and down the UK and abroad (along side the many anonymous donations that kept appearing out of the blue ,simply because (I believe) people everywhere are drawn to supporting community and acts of peace. Some of the places these donations came from were Bratislava ( Slovakia) ,Lugano ( Switzerland ) ,Zurich ( Switzerland ),Vienna (Austria),Milan( Italy )Tuscany (Italy) Crete( Greece) Dublin (Ireland), Liverpool,Swansea,Wales,Glasgow(Scotland),Darlington,Cornwall, Cleethorpes,Manchester,Harrogate,Exeter,Newcastle,Sheffield,Sittingbourne (Kent,) the Om Yoga Show in Manchester and London,.
I arrived on the island fresh from the Milan Yoga Festival ( which was vocal and dynamic it s support for the project)
The welcome I received from the Palestinian Students when I arrived on the island was absolutely overwhelming and if I do nothing else in my entire life I will never forget the feeling of meeting this soul family of mine at the Shalla !
The ensuing four day foundation course seemed to flash by in the blink of an eye ,.until the day arrived when myself, Sarah and Paul Stephen ( the core Yogabeats Conflict team ) along with Sama Fabian and Tanya Syed found ourselves all at the airport saying tearful goodbyes to these very special students ,..Hannah Aiyana our London film maker recorded this incredibly emotional event ,alongside all the previous four days throughout the foundation course ,.how this unique event will impact on all of our futures is anyone’s guess as this crazy world hangs it’s head after the recent Paris atrocities but one thing is for sure the constant work of peace and yoga goes on regardless ,…and that’s the hope ,..
A massive thank you to Jamie, Karissa and all the wonderful team at Azul who made our stay one never to be forgotten.