I was reading in last week's British Medical Journal about the Daniel Turnberg Trust Fund. Daniel was a very promising young doctor and medical researcher, with a long time interest in the affairs of the Middle East, who tragically died in a plane crash while on holiday in Malawi. His parents set up a trust fund in his memory to help researchers in the UK, Israel, Palestine and the rest of the Middle East to travel for short-term projects, in order to further their individual careers and promote bonds of friendship and collaboration.
This is the sort of thing that I regard as one of the primary goals of my bike ride challenge - this is what it's all about, and what the Nazareth Hospital is all about. I'm an Atheistic Christian, riding from a predominantly Muslim country to a predominantly Jewish country, in aid of a Christian (ostensibly theistic of course!) hospital. I'm hoping to meet people and do a little to build some bridges, and perhaps continue a bit of the work that Nazareth has actually been doing on *me* since I went there in 1993. We all have our paths to tread, I suppose, and as we move along, we come into contact with many different people. Contingency (you can call it "fate" if you want, but you'll lose some meaning) plays a major role in how events work out.
You plant a seed, and hope something will grow. I listened to a really good lecture at Warwick from one of the researchers supported by a Daniel Turnberg grant, and I hope this trust fund will continue to help scientists move between our countries and share their work. Maybe it has been overlooked, but scientific co-operation is one thing that can unite all races and creeds.
Viva la Scientia!
Last year my pals and I cycled in The Galilee, Northern Israel, to raise money for Nazareth Hospital Paediatric Department. We raised over £50,000 but we could use more! Nazareth is the largest Arab town in Israel; the people are lovely, and the kids are awesome. Nazareth also treats kids in the West Bank of Palestine who have very limited access to healthcare. They need your help! Go to my sponsorship page to find out more and see what you can do! Maybe even join us in 2017..?