Kirkcudbright man set for West Bank humanitarian mission - at the fifth time of asking
A Kirkcudbright man is preparing for a humanitarian mission of a lifetime – at the fifth time of asking.
John McIntosh will pedal through the West Bank to Jerusalem next May in support of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).
It will be the first time keen cyclist John, 61, has visited the Israeli-occupied territory.
His Cycle Palestine trip has been cancelled four times already because of the pandemic.
John told the News: “My target is £2,500 which is the minimum set by the charity.
“We are slightly unsure what life on the ground is like but until we are actually there we won’t know.”
John’s sister-in-law Anne Bryce and husband Graham, who also live in Kirkcudbright, did Cycle Palestine in 2015.
And when their son Calum followed suit in 2017 John vowed he would do the same.
“I was a willing candidate – the Middle East is part of the world I have never been to,” he said. “I attended a MAP briefing in February 2020 only weeks before we were due to go out.
“That was before Covid and the trip was cancelled, and again last September and in March and September this year.
“Now it’s scheduled for May 2022 and I have reactivated my fundraising page.”
John, lead vocalist with Glasgow-based band The Road, has busked regularly with musical buddies in the city for Palestine.
Together they’ve raised thousands of pounds, including a sum for Ann and Graham Bryce’s 2015 trip.
He said: “Anne has also organised two ‘Come Dine Palestine ‘ events for me, when people were invited to her house and then mine, for an evening of Palestinian food, music and dancing.
“They were a great success and enthusiastically supported by friends and neighbours.”
The 240-kilometre cycle takes place over six days, starting from Jenin in the north.
John will pedal through Hebron, Ramallah and Bethlehem – which is twinned with Glasgow – then on to the finish in Jerusalem.
He said: “The heat may be a bit of an issue – in May it will be in the thirties.
“You do worry about the reaction of the Israeli authorities who are in charge.
Anyone wishing to sponsor John can visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-mcintosh7
All money raised will support MAP’s medical projects supporting Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.