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Over the coming weeks I will be posting a series of articles of a sampling of the events and encounters that my associates and I as Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) are involved with and witness during our stay in the South Hebron Hills, located in the West Bank of Palestine.

First however I believe I should explain how I chose the domain name for my site of “maugnnyahtoh” with the sub-title of “Starfish Ponderings – One Mans View”  I was very honored, and remain so to this date, of being associated with a small group of distinguished scouters called the “Miramichi Pioneers” which was formed by the Late Charlie Slane.  The organization which has carried on to this day under the leadership of Dr. Peter Kent presents an award to a deserving scouter in New Brunswick.  These dear friends I owe so very much to and will carry my respect for them to my grave.  I was privileged to be honoured as one of the few many years ago to be given a “Maugn” name.   My name “Maugn Nyah Toh” I have used for my Domain name.   Charlie Slane selected these names after reading J.H Williams’s book “The Elephant Man”.  I have no idea what the name means, if anything but the prestige of having this name assigned to you as part of the Miramichi Pioneers.

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The second part of my “domain name”, specifically “Starfish” portion is in reference to a story that has been told many times and which I read first time in the book “I Shall Not Hate” by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish.   I have told this story many times myself in response to individuals wanting to why I would want to come to Palestine.  Briefly he story goes that an individual was walking along a beach and for as far as one could see the beach was covered with starfish.  In the distance a youth could be seen picking up a starfish and carefully taking it to water and placing it in.  As the individual got closer the youth pickup another starfish and was proceeding to the water’s edge.  In response to being asked what possible difference was being made with this effort, the youth replied that it made a difference to those individual starfish.

I hope you when reading this blog over the coming weeks will become also taken with this tragic situation, and do your part in promoting a “Just Peace” for Israel, Palestine and Gaza so that all can live in peace be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish.

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