Zionists tried to shut down a family kite-making workshop

  • Post last modified:February 20, 2024
  • Reading time:9 mins read

The North Herts Palestine Solidarity Campaign held a successful kite-making workshop for families in Hitchin on Sunday 11 February. This was despite the council-run community centre that had originally been booked to host the workshop receiving email threats and a group calling itself UK Lawyers for Israel sending a letter to the council complaining that such an event – in which children learned to make traditional Gazan kites from bamboo and tissue paper – “implies support for Hamas”.

Zionists: even kids’ kite-making is ‘supporting Hamas’

In February 2023, the same organisation celebrated the fact that it had pressured a London hospital into taking down artwork by children from Gaza. They also celebrated their attempted cancelling of the kite-making workshop on X:

The venue cancelled the Gazan Kite Making Workshop due to not feeling safe enough to allow it to go ahead and the police were also made aware of the situation.

The organisers managed to move the event to another venue in Hitchin at short notice. All of the 60 parents, children and others who had been due to attend still did so and the workshop was a great success:

Homemade kites are an important part of culture and entertainment for children in the Gaza Strip. In 2011, Palestinian children broke the world record for most kites flown simultaneously by getting 12,350 kites airborne all at once on Al-Waha beach in the Gaza Strip.

One of the facilitators of the Hitchin workshop was himself a Palestinian from Gaza, now living in the UK. He was able to show participants the traditional way of building kites with bamboo, tissue paper, and thread in a hexagonal shape, and shared his memories of doing so as a child in the Gaza Strip.


North Herts Palestine Solidarity Campaign secretary Erica Lang said:

Sadly we have been through this situation before when a venue has pulled out of a cultural event due to nonsensical external pressure. On this occasion you really couldn’t make it up! Objecting to kites but not bombs! But what we have to put up with is absolutely nothing when we compare it to the horrors that the Palestinians are enduring.

The event was a huge success with 100% attendance. We created objects of beauty together, as a different way to show our solidarity with the children of Palestine. We will be flying those kites soon.

Lauren Donaldson, who also helped organise the event, said:

As a mother of two young children, my heart breaks every time I see a photo or video of another innocent Palestinian child that has been killed by the IDF. Watching this from many miles away in the safety of our homes with all the privileges we carry, we feel at a loss as to what we can do.

I write to my MP, I attend protest marches alone and with my family, but solidarity can also be shown in less political ways. And that’s what we saw the kite-making workshop as; a safe, family-friendly environment for people of Hitchin and the surrounding areas to come together, to hold Gaza in our hearts and minds, and learn how to create a kite from someone who would draw on his childhood memories of Gaza.

Kites that the late Palestinian poet Refaat Alareer wrote of as angels flying in the sky bringing love and hope for those bereaved children left behind. It is these images and messages that drove us to hold a kite-making workshop earlier this month. Our children made and flew kites for the children of Gaza, in love and hope for a better tomorrow.

Supporting Palestinians, ignoring preposterous Zionists

The workshop facilitators said:

It was with great pride and pleasure that we led the Gazan kite-making workshop with the North Herts Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Despite all the adversity we were able to inspire the young and older generations with positive enlightenment about the Gazan and Palestinian culture.

Some families who participated were survivors of the first Nakba. They were moved by the support and solidarity in their community.

Feedback from other parents who attended the event included:

It was a very low key, easy way to introduce my family to empathy for others in very different and atrocious situations.

Thank you so much for arranging the kite workshop. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon with like-minded people learning the traditional way of how the kites are made.

The whole event was warm, friendly and welcoming – great for a slightly anxious kid and a good way to talk through what is happening in Gaza.

North Herts Palestine Solidarity Campaign is a branch of the UK-wide Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which brings together people from all walks of life to campaign for Palestinian rights and freedom.

While UK Lawyers for Israel claimed to be acting on behalf of local Jewish residents “outraged” by the planned kite-making workshop, the North Herts Palestine Solidarity Campaign is not aware of any members of our community having voiced any such concerns.

Featured image and additional images via North Herts Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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