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Moyle and Gaza sign Twinning Agreement

Moyle and Gaza sign Twinning Agreement

The mayor of Moyle District Council, Padraig McShane, and the Mayor of Gaza City, Eng. Rafeek Mekki last night signed a twinning agreement in Gaza City.

Mayor McShane (left) and Mayor Mekki sign the Twinning Agreement

Moyle District Council, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, has a population of 17,000 while Gaza City has a population of some 450,000, leading Mayor McShane to comment during his speech that every person in Moyle has just made 30 new friends.

Twinning of cities, provinces, councils, schools etc are agreements by which the bodies form co-operative cultural, and often commercial, ties.

Shaking hands on the deal.

Moyle District Council faced fierce opposition to the proposal from some of its members, who mistakenly believed it to be a political arrangement, but despite their attempts to stymie the agreement, the majority of the Moyle District Council supported the twinning, in two separate votes – one to twin, and the second an attempt to overthrow the first.

Mayor Mekki emphasised the importance of building and maintaining friendships internationally, especially for a city under siege, as is Gaza. He extended an invitation to everyone in Moyle to visit Gaza at some time, particularly those who opposed the twinning arrangement, so they can see for themselves the reality of Gaza, and how mutual co-operation can benefit them all.

From Gaza to Moyle.

Mayor McShane recalled that during the Irish famine in 1845, the Ottoman Empire offered today’s equivalent of 20 million pounds for relief, but Queen Victoria refused it, because she was only giving today’s equivalent of 2 million pounds, and insisted they donate only one. The Sultan agreed, but secretly sent thee shiploads of food. The British courts tried to prevent their landing, but they eventually docked at Drogheda harbour and left the food there.

“Why would an Islamic country would send such generous help to a Christian country?” he asked. “The only answer we can come up with is their common humanity, and that is what this agreement is all about.”

Mayor Mekki and the other council members thanked the Irish delegation for coming to Gaza to sign the twinning agreement, and the Council and Irish delegation exchanged several presentations from each other’s country.

From Moyle to Gaza.

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