Sunday, 1 August 2010

It was brought home to me

Hi there

Sue, my better half, is the personal assistant to one of the professors at Loughborough University (actually to more than one professor but that's another story).

Last week one of the students who had just obtained his advanced degree arranged for his parents to visit the university before he returned home.

This young gentleman happens to be a Palestinian and has been studying here for a number of years.

Sue had helped him on several occasions and as a thank you was taken to lunch by him and his parents.

During the lunch the conversation turned to what impressions the parents received on visiting England.

The overriding impression was our freedom.

They couldn't get over the fact that they saw in the town centre people of all different religions, colour and ethnic background going about their business.

They were mingling together in the market with no apparent animousity to one another.

Bear in mind that Loughborough is only a medium sized town and it is true that you see burkas, saris, turbans, orthodox Jewish dress etc all the time.

This statement by the parents when relayed to me pulled me up short.

I just take seeing all this different people walking around without any apparent fear as normal.

There is the occasional ill feeling I suppose but relatively minor compared with other areas of the world

In Palestine this highly intelligent and qualified young man has to pass through 3 check points on the way to and from work including strip searches every day!

No I'm not pointing the finger at either the Israelies or the Arabs as they both have a valid point of view and I'm sure that there is good and bad on both sides.

I am just pointing out what a joy it is to live in a country where we take freedom for granted.

Isn't maintaining this situation something really worth protecting

Long may it continue.

Thought for today:- Do you appreciate the freedoms you have in your life?

Joke for today:- Does killing time damage eternity?

On this day:- 1st August

In 1833 Britain passed an act of Parliament freeing all slaves in the nations territories after a 5 to 7 year apprenticeship. £20 million pounds ($ 37 million) was earmakrked as compensation for the slave owners.

In 1774 Sir Joseph Priestley announced that he had discovered oxygen

In 1798 Nelson destroyed the French fleet thus cutting off Napoleon's supply route to his army in Egypt.

John Beaumont

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