As most of you may know, most of our activity at the start of the year has been focused on charity collection to support the convoy trying to break into Gaza this December. 2 of the Warwick students attending are already on their way traveling all the way through Europe then the Middle East, while another 2 will be joining them soon in Egypt.
We’ll be trying to keep you updated with the movement of the convoy as it nears Gaza – please, please, please, remember to pester your papers, local politicians and anybody and everybody you know to try and raise awareness of the convoy. Facebook messages, status updates, twitter, emails, blogs, if there is any way you can help to raise awareness, your help would be most appreciated. If you have any friends who you think would also want to help, let them know as well.
You can follow the concoy from its blog website at: http://studentlifelinetogaza.blogspot.com
on at the facebok group:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=188973921044
on twitter: http://twitter.com/WarwickInGaza
If you want to make a donation, still VERY important, please click here:
then enter the email address email@example.com and send!
Follow the Convoy through press.tv at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=113929§ionid=351020202
For the Viva Palestina website: http://vivapalestina.org
Finally, below is the latest update from the convoy.
It was a tired but happy Nora I got on the phone, after my 127th attempt to reach her UK mobile this evening from my snowbound home in Copenhagen. Can’t even put words to the incredible feeling of relief and excitement I got when I finally heard her voice!
They were both safe and intact – though Nora explained how her ONE pair of jeans started to smell of puke (I promised her Kat and I would bring her an extra clean pair!) and her hair was turning into one massive dread, whilst bearded Fred was turning into a Santa look alike. I heard him joking in the background that it would probably make him blend in perfectly well with the local people in Gaza. Nora said they’d had to spend many sleepless nights in the van, as the cold weather conditions weren’t suitable for tents. However, despite the tough trucker lifestyle, Nora said they were still having an incredible time with the rest of the Viva Palestina team and with all the wonderful support they had been receiving along the way they were only getting more and more motivated to reach their final destination in Gaza.
The convoy has now safely arrived in Turkey, Istanbul, where they received a truly unforgettable reception. Hundreds of people stayed up till 3-4am standing outside in the cold and rain on the motorway to wave and greet the Convoy vehicles as they arrived at the Turkish borders, and provide them with food and accommodation.
Nora told me that the convoy received massive support by the people in Istanbul- political as well as practical, providing everyone with food and accommodation. In Istanbul there have been lots of press conferences, rallies through the city and speeches by MP George Galloway. Turkish National TV is reporting live coverage as the convoy moves through their towns. A lot of Turkish supporters have given the Viva Palestina convoy very generous donations of aid, and a huge numbers of Turkish vehicles have joined the convoy doubling the convoy size to around 200 vehicles!
The next stop is Ankara, and from there the convoy will be heading on towards the Syrian borders. Nora says calmly that she believes Syria should hopefully be a safe drive-through.
The latest news is that the Convoy has received a warning letter from the Egyptian authorities that no aid vehicles will be allowed past the Egyptian borders and that they will use all means to stop the convoy from entering Egypt. Nora explained how this was especially worrying as the last Viva Palestina Convoy’s border-crossing in Egypt got really violent.
Fortunately, MP David Miliband has contacted the Egyptians to request safe passage for the convoy.
Nora, Fred and the rest of the Viva Palestina team urges everyone to help get the word out and contact media. It would especially be helpful to put pressure on the BBC Middle East Correspondent to come to Egypt to cover the Convoy’s arrival at the Egyptian borders, to pressure the Egyptians to let them pass by safely.
Nora and Fred both send you all their love and biggest thanks for all your support. They are deeply sorry they haven’t been able to update you more frequently themselves, but they have sadly had very limited access to internet. Next time they get the chance they promise to try to upload some of the many million photos they have taken so far.
Until then, please make sure to follow updates from the Viva Palestina Convoy on: http://readingpsc.org.uk/convoy/