I have taken part in this event ever since I knew it existed. I joined small park BIG RUN (#spBR21) at Meersbrook Park in 2019 (having posted leaflets about the event with GoodGym) and then contributed 3 hours of running last year as part of the DIY lockdown event. I knew this year I wanted to try a solo challenge. As a Palestinian, the charity focus is always close to my heart, but more so now that so many others are speaking up and sharing the truth, there is so much good done already, but it is ever more necessary now.
My Gazan father was forced out of his home as a child, becoming a refugee and we have family still living in the apartheid state. Being Palestinian and British means I feel it is my duty to speak up and be proactive. The sense of collective community and kindness shown by Sheffield Palestine Cultural Exchange (SPaCE), Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund and the local Meersbrook and Heeley community to help improve the life chances, aspirations, and opportunities for the most marginalised and silenced voices in the world means so much to me. Shukran for all donations, be they solidarity miles or money.
I’m aiming to try to cover no less than 120km, so averaging about 5km an hour. If I can push towards 150km I will be proud – but the resilience to be on a treadmill, in my Baba’s Garage is going to be one of the more challenging aspects of my run. I am trialling my hourly speed at present, playing around with splitting my hours into fast and slow intervals to keep energised, allow food, and clock up the mileage. A day of discomfort is nothing compared to the conditions and treatment of Palestinians controlled by illegal occupation since 1948 and the pain of those (like my father) who find themselves interrogated and refused return to see loved ones.
I run to hopefully one day be able to see the village where my family comes from. To see it in more than just photos. #FreeFreePalestine
If anyone has any recommendations for my running playlist – English or Arabic classics (big fan of 90’s arab pop!) send them through.
If you can spare some money to donate to my efforts please visit the link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DanaAbdulkarim
‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’.