Families fly kites to show solidarity with Gaza children

Residents flying kites in solidarity with the children of Gaza. Pic: Rachel Keenan

Hundreds of families gathered in Blythe Hill Fields in Catford yesterday to fly kites in solidarity with the children of Gaza.

The colourful spectacle on Sunday morning saw scores of children running and playing with kites, some homemade. 

Kites in Solidarity have been running these events all over London since the conflict between Israel and Gaza started on October 7. 

The organisers, Orla Crowley and Tekie Quaye are both local parents who joined together to arrange the day after being influenced by similar events across London.

Orla said: “It’s an event that’s accessible to children and we just want to bring the message of peace and solidarity to the children of Gaza.”

Orla said she was inspired by the 2011 world record for the most kites flown simultaneously, which was achieved by children of the Gaza Strip. A total of 12,350 kites were flow along Al-Waha Beach.

She said: “Especially as they’ve achieved this amazing record which is quite a feat for that many children to throw kites into the air.”

Tekie added: “We wanted to celebrate and honour different facets of children and their lives because we are seeing so much horrible imagery. 

“Just to celebrate the lives that they had and that they’ve lost and to reflect as a community and come together. With kids it’s not necessarily been easy to always get to the marches.” 

A particularly windy day led to several kites successfully flying in solidarity. 

Watermelon flag at event. pic: Tekie Quaye

Many children were seen with handmade kites that were decorated to show support for Palestine. A common feature on the kites was a watermelon, which is now used worldwide as a show of solidarity to Palestine. 

The use of a watermelon when referring to Palestine was first used after the Six-Day-War in 1967 as the Israeli Government made public displays of the Palestinian flag a criminal offense in Gaza and the West Bank. 

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