This past month's been just crazy. Tying up aid from 3 corners; China, Cairo & Malaysia, all timed to arrive in Cairo just days before the team does. Solar lamps, solar bulbs, cartoon stickers, projectors, laptops, books, posters, wheelchairs, crutches, medicine, even chocolates. Alhamdulillah, everything;s falling into place, right up to the last day. Living on the edge they say.
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.