"Thousands of people have contacted me to say that they have marched, cried at the television pictures and feel helpless in the face of the suffering.
That’s why I have launched a major initiative in response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. I will be leading an aid convoy from London to Gaza leaving on 14 February and travelling through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and through Rafah and into Gaza. It will bring material aid and raise the banner of Palestine in all the countries that we visit.
The convoy will be led by a British fire engine, ambulances, and many trucks full of practical aid given by the various communities in Britain.
It is quite an undertaking, which I anticipate will have a high public profile throughout its journey and on its arrival in Gaza, god willing, some 30 days later." George Galloway
I was aware from media activity that the Gaza Convoy initiated by George Galloway was going to pass through Libya, but since I was not following the news closely I was not aware it had arrived.
So when I was driving in Tripoli yesterday afternoon I noticed a humongous traffic jam on the coastal road. I assumed there must have been some visiting VIP or a road accident. But as I got closer I noticed too many trucks too count and all had a Viva Palestina banner. Only then did I remember about this planned convoy.
I mean many of us had already donated to the various charities and movements collecting money for Gaza even to the Viva Palestina cause . But it was one thing to read about it and another to see the sheer number of trucks and people surrounding them live. Can you imagine more than 5 lanes of cars stopped in the street - litterally parked alongside the trucks !
I was talking at that time to my best friend and mentioned the trucks to him, he suggested I take a photo with the cellphone and I really did want to join the group and shake some hands and take a few photos but I was driving on the other side of the road separated by concrete - it would be suicidal to stop and run accross the road.
It was definetely a great sight anda lump rose in my throat...not just for Palestine but also the incredible emotions of my Libyan brethrens. I knew that the visitors would have a grand time in Libya - because being hospitable is what we do best and I'm not counting the trucks filled with goods that Libya has donated to this cause this time again.
Reading the testimonies online was an added bonus:
"This is the best welcome we received. What is different this time is that the authorities did not try to stop the people mingling and getting close to us, nothing was orchestrated, it was natural and spontaneous.." [Viva Palestina website].
I'm happy to hear that they will be allowed into Gaza from Egypt! Well done to all.