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La Diada

The unexpected Twitter message arrived from Foreign Friends of Catalonia, inviting us to Barcelona to stay with Catalan hosts, to participate in La Diada – Catalonia’s national day. Quick conversation. Well- why not? A recce on ‘tinternet for cheap flights and that was it. We were going. As simple as that.

Except this simple process led to a complex and profound experience which I don’t think we will ever forget.

Our hosts, Alfred and Monica were a truly delightful couple, warm and generous, who were clearly committed to Catalonia’s right to a democratic say in its own future. On our first morning, I retrieved a somewhat crumpled copy of the Sunday National and gave it to Alfred, showing him the article, published that day, on the forthcoming Diada. I was not prepared for how visibly moved he was that a Scottish newspaper should be aware of their situation and prepared to inform its readers on the subject. He nodded and said quietly, “That gives me hope.”

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