Sunday, June 10, 2012
6am n Everyone's on board the buses n waiting to roll. It's so good to see friends, old n new. Warm familiar faces. Zaher Birawi, Nikki Enmarche, roger fowler, hone fowler n the biggest surprise of all, an old friend, Dr Anas al Tikriti.
- update via SMS from Azra Banu, VPM
Kia Ora Gaza (Roger Fowler, Tali Williams, Hone Fowler, Gibran Janif) with Azra and Dr Essam Mustafa (who has been instrumental in organising this particular aid effort).
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
The team comprises VPM chairman Dato' Dr Musa Nordin, secretary Azra Banu, committee members Elya Lim, Noorazian Anidin, Mohd Idrus & VPM volunteers Che Mahmud & Roslan Mohammad and four others from Aqsa Syarif. In less than 24 hours we shall be on Etihad Airways bound for Cairo before embarking on the road trip to Gaza. Last minute preparations are inevitable giving me a good dose of the jitters & excitement.
The goodwill's just been amazing. We called for sponsors for solar lamps, thinking we'd top up any shortfall, but the funds still haven't stopped coming, prompting a second shipment. Then we started a wheelchair & crutches campaign and the amount raised allowed us to purchase twice the number of wheelchairs. Cartoon stickers, Quran in Braille, chocolates, everything was snapped up by very generous hearts, from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, UK, US, Russia, South Africa, Europe. I can say with certainty that your kindness is deeply appreciated by all in Gaza.
I haven't had time to think about what it'd feel like to be back in Gaza but now, just hours away to taking the first step, Gaza is staking its claim and memories of that first trip are rushing forth. This time, I'm not going in blind. I've made friends, family almost. They wait to see us, to embrace us, to welcome us into their humble homes.
Yes, Gaza beckons us again.
Friday, April 13, 2012
13 April 2012
NON-PARTICIPATION IN VP6, RIGHT OF RETURN CONVOY TO GAZA
Right until 10 pm 11 April 2012, VPM was busy putting together final touches to our VP6 convoy, counting solar lamps, stickers for kids, crutches and wheel chairs for the disabled, generators for schools, etc.
Unfortunately, events in the Middle East, notably the crisis in Syria have overtaken us. VPM and our partners Aqsa Syarif (AS) had hoped to bypass Syria en-route to Gaza, but VP leaders were unable to secure a sea link from Turkey to Egypt and decided to continue the road convoy through Syria.
VPM & AS felt that this was too risky and the security and safety of our volunteers on the convoy could not be guaranteed. Neither would our Foreign Ministry, who we work very closely with, allow us to undertake this route.
Besides that, the road convoy across Syria would lend credibility to the savage killings of innocent civilians, indiscriminate bombings and disproportionate use of force by the Syrian authorities.
Thus, in consultation with our partners in AS, we have both decided not to participate in VP6, Right of Return Convoy to Gaza.
VPM will honour all your contributions and have started making plans to organise our own convoy to Gaza, targeted for June 2012. Be rest assured that all your donated items will find its way to Gaza. We thank you for your generosity and look forward to your continued support for the rebuilding and rehabilitation of Gaza.
Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Thursday, April 5, 2012
VPM needs to do some last minute shopping for our 11 schools in Gaza. We're looking for laptops, digital cameras, video recorders, basketballs, footballs, projectors. This is just part of the aid we hope to carry for the children of Gaza.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Monday, October 25, 2010
We made frantic phone calls to a friend in Cairo & considered all other options but decided to wait it out hoping for either one; the flight being delayed or the bus ride not taking as long.
Kevin having been informed made haste & we only had 2 stops, one very brief & the other slightly longer. Everyone was informed that we were rushing so that the Malaysians & Indonesians could catch their flight. The meal stop was thus a hurried one.
The convoy family was by & large very cooperative save for a couple & Julie actually voiced her annoyance at being rushed & asked why couldn't we change our flight. If only it was that simple.
Anyway, we got to the airport at 11.30pm & the Egyptian authorities were quickly informed of the delegation of 17 waiting to board & were kind enough to hold the flight. And we whizzed through check in, immigration & straight to our gate. The flight took off some 20 mins later than scheduled.
To all who patiently endured the rush to the airport a BIG THANK YOU. For missing out on your dinner I invite you anytime you're in Kuala Lumpur to my home where I promise to cook you a storm.
These past 6 weeks are not gonna be easily forgotten. I've met many, many lovely people & sadly didn't get to bid them farewell. To all at VP 5, you're simply wonderful & thank you for a truly memorable journey.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
(Sent from Azra via BBM)