The six women from Al Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, together with Hanan Bannourah, a Trade Union leader from Bethlehem, arrived in Oxford on 13th June. The delegation had been brought over by the Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association (ORFA). At the Ramallah end, the visit was organised by the Women’s Centre in Al Amari Refugee Camp.
Their first event, on Saturday 14th, was the 'Women in Black Vigil' in Bonn Square. This was followed by a meal organised by the Network of Oxford Women. On Sunday they went by train (the first time for some of them), to Banbury to meet the Labour Party women’s section.
On Monday 16th they had a lunchtime meeting in Oxfam's headquarters. This was attended by 50 mostly young people. Although it was about gender issues in Palestine it could not help being dominated by the issue of prisoners, because the women were the mothers of 6 sons serving life sentences, and one of the sons was going blind, lost the use of one leg, had no hearing in one ear, yet couldn't get medical treatment. In the evening was one of the main public meetings, in St Michael’s Church, chaired by the priest, Bob Wilkes. This was well attended, 60 or so people.
The next day the Oxford Mayor, Mr Abbasi, held a reception for the Al Amari group, while Hanan went to London to meet the President of the Royal College of Midwives, to continue the links with the Palestinian midwives. In the afternoon the whole group met some Oxford lawyers, to discuss human rights. On the evening of the 17th we held the main Oxford public meeting, sponsored by ORFA and Oxford PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign). The women movingly addressed a packed courtroom, in the Town Hall (about 70 people). Again the issue of prisoners dominated, and people were directed to the PSC petition about prisoners.