It was incredibly tragic news, over a week ago now, that aid worker Zomi Frankcom had been killed by an Israeli airstrike, along with six other aid workers, while delivering food aid in northern Gaza.

It was particularly poignant to hear this news at Easter. As the Frankcom family reflected, “We are deeply mourning the news that our brave and beloved Zomi has been killed doing the work she loves delivering food to the people of Gaza. She was a kind, selfless and outstanding human being that has travelled the world helping others in their time of need. She will leave behind a legacy of compassion, bravery and love…”

Two days after the news about Zomi’s death, I received an email from the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand with the poem at the bottom of this email.

It speaks of the hopes of Palestinian people that, one day, they will live in a country at peace; that, one day, those who have fled will be able to return to their homeland; that, one day, those who have supported them and prayed for them, might be able to see this peace for themselves.

On Saturday, 20 April, we have a chance to join in those prayers here in Canberra.

Church groups and Christians from the Refugee Action Campaign are coming together for a walk for peace (in stages) that symbolically mirrors the distance from Gaza to Rafah. This is part of a global Christian pilgrimage happening across 170 cities in 19 countries over several weeks.


he Canberra pilgrimage will begin at Mt Ainsley at 4am and will take 12 hours. People are invited to join in at various stages (see below) before finishing with a time of prayer at 4pm on Federation Mall outside Parliament House.
Stage 1: (at 4am) Mt Ainsley to Canberra Mosque
Stage 2: Canberra Mosque to the Australian Centre Christianity and Culture (ACCC)
Stage 3: ACCC to Regatta Point Lookout
Stage 4: Regatta Point lookout to Old Parliament House
Stage 5: Old Parliament House to 2x laps of Parliament House and finish on Federation Mall.

The intention of the walk is to immerse ourselves in prayerful solidarity with the people of Gaza. People can carry crosses, Christian icons or Palestinian flags, but cannot carry political placards or participate in political chants.

For more information, and to RSVP for the event, go to

We continue to pray for peace for Zomi Frankcom’s family, for the families of more than 200 aid workers killed in Gaza since this conflict began, the 95 journalists and media workers, 1,139 Israelis, and those still being held hostage, and 33, 175 Palestinians. “Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”; “With war everything is lost”. Instil in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.” (Pope Francis’ prayer for peace)
Amen! May it be so!


I hope the airplane to Palestine is filled with people just like you
I hope someone with skin like yours is sitting next to me
I’ll always remember the hand that held the ‘Free Palestine’ banner with me
And I hope to see it holding a boarding pass

I hope we share stories and the years it took to get here
And that time you stood up to a friend

I hope that when the air hostess comes around
She wears a cloth with fine woven thread
And he wears a kuffiyeh dotted with olive trees and farm fields

I hope the safety briefing shows a child secure in a plane, not scared by one
I hope that the captain tells us the temperature
Warm with a breeze, honey bees, and soft clouds
I hope she tells us that in just a few hours we will see a land we cried for
I hope the other pilot chips in
I hope you can hear his smile through the mic
As he asks his God for a safe journey through skies

I hope the airplane to Palestine is full of noise
I hope there’s chatter
Five babies crying
Five people helping
Five tired mothers
Stories, grief
Twelve adults crying
Sixty-two people about to see their grandparents’ home.
Six people talking about the sweet apples of Jerusalem
Two about the bracelet they haven’t taken off from that protest they went to
Nine about how they packed light because their happiness is so heavy.
And fifteen about trying hummus on alleyways coated with accents and laughter that seeps through an old man’s last teeth.

I hope the airplane to Palestine is filled with people that look just like you.

Poem by Haneen of @haneens.lab via Community Peacemaker Teams

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