Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Istanbul First Now Ankara, Turkey.... Viva Palestina 5 Convoy

Salam and hi my dearest family and friends,

I am now in Ankara, Turkey.

And I can 'smell' Gaza from here.... so excited....

Since the day we entered Turkey, first in Istanbul and now Ankara, the feelings I have cannot be described.

It is amazing, fantastic and bombastic to say the least...

I met so many humanitarian activists especially from IHH, including the ones who were on Mavi Marmara- the ship that got attacked, hijacked and kidnapped by the infamous zero-feeling and zero-heart Zionist regime.

I even get to meet one of the ladies on Mavi Marmara. Her name is Meral... I was so inspired by her....

Although there are times when we all are like cute and pretty (coz IHH got us nice homes to sleep and bathe) ducks and chicken talking, using sign languages and all- that didn't stop us from yakkity yakkity yak!

Somehow, we managed to make sense what the storyline was about... Haha...

Once we were driving on the road,  we used the word 'Gaza' and 'Mavi Marmara' to a lady who was by the roadside, and suddenly she starting crying!

Ayoyo... I felt so guilty.... and sad....

Then, there were many speeches too.

During one of the speeches, George Galloway, founder of Viva Palestina, mentioned that we soon will be traveling using the same sea route Mavi Marmara used and when we reached the exact spot of the attack, we will throw flowers etc as a gesture of remembrance of the innocent and kindhearted humanitarian activists who were murdered there.

I quickly text-ed Zabrina to tell her about this exciting news and that my will is on the way.

She said one more time such talk, she will fly here and personally throw me off the ferry.

Lol! Relax Zab.... just pulling your leg...

But then, I also said to her, she might as well do that, coz at the frequency of our texting, she could have bought a flight ticket to Gaza!

She said, maybe la...but only in cargo section!

Zab, Zab.... cargo or not, next time, I will drag you, Azian and Jem if I have to and come with me to Gaza!

Muah Muah from Turkey,

(posted by Sis Zabrina for Azura who claims she can drag her 3 friends with 100kg++ combined weight to Gaza. Ye ke nie?)

During one of the press conference

The Dancing Imam Who Listens to Raihan - Viva Palestina 5 Convoy

Salam and hi dear all,

Recently, in one of my text messages to Zabrina, I told her that our vehicle was overheated and had a breakdown. So, we left it at the sports complex where we stayed for the night.

We then were asked to join in the vehicle driven by a group of Pakistani brothers from Bristol, UK...

And my, my... what a pleasant and sweet surprise me and Azra had when riding the van. We suddenly heard a very familiar voice and an even more familiar song.

And what are these brothers playing?

The infamous Nasheed group from Malaysia- Raihan! Yoohoo!

Feel so proud at that moment... and a little bit homesick... a little bit only....

Bravo Raihan!

When I told Zabrina about it, she said that I should snappy snap some pictures of the UK brothers who can sing Malaysian nasheed songs.

So, Zab, this is because of you. But I got only one.... and like they say, better one than none, right? :))

Nasir Birmingham.... the dancing imam who listens and sings Raihan...
(Posted by Zabrina (for Azura) who wonders if Azura knows the Raihan lyrics as good as the Bristol brothers)

T-shirt, Caps and Badges Designs Collection for Viva Palestina 5

Salam and hi all,

As I mingle around with my activist friends in the convoy, I saw many different types of tee designs, caps and button badges which I thought I want to share with you.

Who knows... maybe these pictures can give idea for future designs, right?

Here are some of them...

(Posted by Sis Zabrina for Azura's Future Wardrobe!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Arrives in Istanbul- A Video for Viva Palestina 5 Convoy

Salam and hi all,

A video to capture the arrival of Viva Palestina 5 Convoy into Turkey.

In this video, the Viva Palestina Convoy organised stressed that among the items we are bringing into Gaza is 10 Million Dollars worth of MEDICAL AID and also an appeal to the Egyptian Government to let the Convoy thru to deliver the humanitarian aid.

Singing About Palestine - Viva Palestina 5 Convoy

Salam and Hi my dearest family and friends,

Yesterday, in between meeting the great and wonderful people of Turkey, I was chatting with one of my convoy friends about one of my favourite subjects, you know..... Gaza, Palestine, BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) Campaign on companies such as McD, Coca Cola, Starbuck, Nestle and others that support and fund the Zionist Regime etc etc.

Remembered Mike at this point.... Mike, you will definitely enjoy this talk if you were here!

And really, its always great t talking with these people and exchange ideas.

It is very important that we know how our money are used to supply bullets etc to kill Palestinians when we go shopping their products...

I/We work so hard everyday, to feed our parents, ourselves, our children, to send them to school, pay bills, buy medicine, pay our houses loan, pay home rental, pay our car installments etc etc......  then when we go shopping, we 'accidentally' sponsor bullet to kill someone else's children ie the Palestinian's children, sponsor to destroy the Palestinians houses, sponsor to destroy schools in Palestine, sponsor to block medicine from entering Gaza, sponsor to stop food to be eaten by Gazans, sponsor to make a child an orphan, to make a woman widowed etc etc etc

Hish, think about it .... Can we sleep peacefully at night?

I know I definitely cannot.... I cannot eat the food from places I know one bite from me = sponsoring one horrible act from the listed above.

No way hoze!!!

But one thing, good to know around the world, there are more and more people already waken up to this truth.

Anyway, not sure how, but from talking about boycott,  my conversation turned into songs about Palestine, Oppression.

And one of my friends told me how he loved Lowkey songs..

I said, who?

'Lowkey... you don't know him?'

Alamak... malu sekejap....

So, my friend started to tell me about this young British singer/rapper famously known as Lowkey.

One of his songs is called Long Live Palestine!

Quickly I sms-ed Zabrina, and asked her to look for Lowkey video to post on my Blog/Tweeter/FB.

She said, who?

So, I said, Lowkey... you dont know him? Hehe....

And Zabrina said selamba-ly..... no.....

I hope you guys can watch Lowkey's video below and read the lyrics too ya.

He is simply amazing!

Free Free Palestine!

Free Free Palestine!

Loving Palestine More and More Everyday,

(Posted by the-selamba Sis Zabrina for the-malu-sekejap Azura)

Long Live Palestine (by Lowkey)
This is for Palestine, Ramallah, West Bank, Gaza,
This is for the child that is searching for an answer,
I wish I could take your tears and replace them with laughter,
Long live Palestine, Long live Gaza!!

While we listen to tunes, made by ignorant fools,
Israel blocked the UN from delivering food,
They'll bring in the troops and you won't even glimpse at the news,
They make money of the products that we are quick to consume,
It's not simply a question of differing views,
Forget emotions, this is fact, what I spit is the truth,
Makes no difference if you're a Christian or if you're a Jew,
They are just people living in different conditions to you,
They still die when you bomb their schools, mosques and hospitals,
It is not because of rockets, please god can you stop it all,
I'm not related to the strangers on the TV,
But I relate because those faces could have been me,
Words can never ever explain the raw tragedy,
It's not a war they're just murdering more rapidly,
We are automatically supporting pure savagery,
Imagine how you'd feel if it was your family,

This is for Palestine, Ramallah, West Bank, Gaza,
This is for the child that is searching for an answer,
I wish I could take your tears and replace them with laughter,
Long live Palestine, Long live Gaza,

Palestine remains in my heart forever,
We stand for peace, in times of war we shan't surrender,
Remember, it didn't start in that dark December,
Every coin is a bullet, if you're Mark's and Spencer,
And when your sipping Coca-Cola,
That's another pistol in the holster of a soulless soldier,
You say you know about the Zionist lobby,
But you put money in their pocket when you're buying their coffee,
Talking about revolution, sitting in Starbucks,
The fact is that's the type of thinking I can't trust,
Let alone even start to respect,
Before you talk learn the meaning of that scarf on your neck,
Forget Nestle,
Obama promised Israel 30 billion over the next decade,
They're trigger happy and they're crazy,
Think about that when you're putting Huggies nappies on your baby,

This is for Palestine, Ramallah, West Bank, Gaza,
This is for the child that is searching for an answer,
I wish I could take your tears and replace them with laughter,
Long live Palestine, Long live Gaza,

This is not just a war over stolen land,
Why do you think little boys are throwing stones at tanks?
We will never really know how many people are dead,
They drop bombs on little girls while they sleep in their beds,
Don't get offended by facts, just try and listen,
Nothing is more anti-Semitic than Zionism,
So please don't bring bad vibes when you speak to me,
I know there's plenty of Rabbi's that agree with me,
It's your choice what you do with this message,
Don't get it confused; I view this from a truly human perspective,
How many more resolutions have to be violated,
How many more children have to be annihilated
Israel is a terror state, there terrorists that terrorise,
I testify, my television televised them telling lies,
This is not a war, it is systematic genocide,
But whatever they try, Palestine will never die!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

From Greece with Love.... Viva Palestina 5 Convoy

Salam and hi all,

I am now in Greece- by the seaside, watching the beautiful sea... enjoying the sepoi-sepoi wind...closing my semi-tired and semi-puffy eyes while dreaming of what it will be like to step into Gaza very very soon...

Bliss, right? Indeed it is!

But, before any of my friends out there think that I am on a holiday trip, sitting by the beach, let me tell you first that;

one- my bed has been my car seat the last 2 nights (all muscles stiff + painful);
two- I am now an expert in using portable toilets (can give kursus after this) and;
three- I was just able to shower after more than 36 hours!!

And some of us here didnt get to shower more than 48 hours...

So, I am not in Holiday Inn or Hilton or Double Tree, ok...

In fact, we were locked out of one of our sleeping areas last night!

After a full day of awareness activities, campaign around town in Greece, doing demo in town The Stadio Neo Rissio at Themes district, proudly driving our Viva Palestina 5 stickered vehicles with flags and talking to the nice people of Greece about Palestinians and their severe oppression, we went back to our camping site (full of sweat, very the smelly and horribly tired) just to find the entrance gates are locked!

Haiyooo.... got so annoyed.

Amazing what ppl willing to do to stop and deter the efforts of goodness. But, if you think by locking us out, you'll deter us, you are seriously wrong, my man... seriously wrong...

So, this is no holiday, I can assure you..

But today we get to sleep at this beautiful park in tents, that has electricity and internet free wifi!! Alhamdulillah...

And of course, all of us frantically and kelam-kabut started charging everything that needed to be charged. For some of us, bathing vs charging- choose charging!! Haha...

Whey, I choose bathing first then charging ok... how much deodorant can I put on to cover, right?

When I started charging,  I did my phone first coz if my phone without battery, I will be cut off from sending messages and pictures to Zab.

Talking about Zab, I sent her some messages on Saturday, but got no respond.

So pelik (Jem, this means weird) that Zab is so silent.

Then on Sunday morning, I sent la another message asking if she is ok coz so 'quiet' on Saturday.

'Azura, you forgot ke? I have an open house yesterday, remember? I told you already babe!'

Oh no!!!

Open House for Eid. I wondered how many open houses I have missed.

I warned Zab not to tell me about the food she served...

But she did say she remembered all hundreds of her convoy family, so, she bought 2 long sticks meant for house painting, and put up two flags - one Malaysian and one Palestinian flag in front on her house.

Wow, so cool beb! I asked where she got the Palestinian flag, she said from where you think? I know already the answer. She must have 'stole' it from VPM office!

And she told me her partner in crime was Jem! Lol!!

Ish..ish..ish... what 'notti' (read: naughty) friends I have back home.. haha...

While there was electricity and internet, I finally got to watch Zabrina's interview with the Al Amin children who drew pictures for the friends in Gaza featured on TV3 during the news segment. ... the segment was so cool... it makes me miss her even more....

Ok, I better stop before someone thinks I have nothing better to do than berleter on the blog.

Tomorrow, we are moving to Turkey, inshaAllah! Pray for us!


(posted by Sis Zabrina blotted from eating too much during open houses for Azura who also blotted from snacking too much while driving to Gaza)

'Mini Food Store' between 2 front seats

My Charging Corner

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Sight I Shall Remember Always in Viva Palestina 5 Convoy

Salaam and hi all,

Saw this from far, and it touches my heart.... what a beautiful sight....

But then, felt it was too far... so I came closer,.... and closer, .... and even closer....

Now, that's better.... feeling all warmy inside...

Remembered that we are being created for one reason only- to worship Him...


(posted by Sis Zabrina for Azura who takes heart warming pictures)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

On the way to Ancona Port, Italy for Viva Palestina 5 Convoy

Salaam and hi everyone,

How are you guys back home?

As for me, I am ok, doing great, alhamdulillah. Except that I was shocked and sad to hear about the passing away of one of my friends from Orphan Care, Sis Nadra's father. Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiuun.

May Allah shower His Mercy on his soul, ameen....

Right now, I am on a ferry moving into Greece. And most importantly, getting closer and closer to my second home- Gaza, inshaAllah!

But before we got into the ferry, last night, we slept over somewhere somewhere by the roadside, not at the petrol station as planned earlier....

Seems like every truck driver on our highway had planned to sleep at the same petrol station! So, very packed and jammed. That must be a very famous petrol station, huh? 

And we, me and Azra decided to sleep in front of the van, eh, not in front as like depan the van la... i mean inside the van, but the front seats...

This was because the night before, when we sleep at the back of the van (inside, ok) it was soooo cold!

And clever me, forgot to wear my socks and gloves. Actually Zab reminded me to wear them but I fell asleep before reading her text message.

So, by the time I read her message, it was too late...

And worse, my sleeping bag's zipper kept on sliding down. Zabrina asked me, why was the zipper sliding down all the time, the zipper loose ke?

So, i told her... me and my sleeping bag not the same size mah!

Sleeping bag size = S, Me = ??? .... Haiyoo....

She laughed like crazy....

So... next trip, cannot borrow from my comel comel (Jem, this means cute cute) friend's sleeping bag anymore... hehe....

And the luckiest of all are my friends who are driving the ambulances. Their stretchers became their beds. Best, right? :))

Anyway, the next morning, I had coffee and cheesecake for breakfast. Alhamdulillah, not as filling like my nasi lemak etc, but, still nice breakfast, nevertheless...

And Zab told me, take some pictures of you laa, fresh after shower. And I told her, what shower?? I havent taken one in the last 24 hours! hehe....

Seems that Adnan's, the Viva Palestina Malaysia's words were correct in one of our meetings. He said, 'those who plan to be in the convoy must start your training from now.... stop showering for 3-4 days....';
(hint to future convoy members: bring lots of deodorant!)

Ok la you guys, need to go for a bit. See you in the next post!

Lovey, lovey,

(posted by Sis Zabrina for Azura- the deodorant-laden gal)

Zab, here is my freshly showered photo. Next to me- Dr Zin from Aqsa Syarif.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In France with Viva Palestina 5 Convoy

Salaam my dear family and friends,

Jap, I want to share a youtube video on Viva Palestina 5 Convoy taken in France. It shows solidarity among citizens of the world. Feel so good to be with them... they inspire me and makes me feel that together, we can achieve anything, inshaAllah!

And of course, paling syok is that you can see one of our brothers from Viva Palestina Malaysia (Aqsa Sharif) holding the Malaysian flag in the background.

Bak kata Bro Dr Zin - Hidup Hidup Palestine!!
And Sis Zabrina - Viva Viva Palestina!!
While myself says- Gaza, Gaza, Here Comes Azura!!!

Bila la nak sampai Gaza nie....

Viva Palestina 5: Update @8.36am(GMT+8)

Salaam my dearest family and friends,

Just a short one!

I am now driving at 2am thru Italy while listening to Sheila Majid lagenda...

(sent via sms to Sis Zabrina)

What's Next for Viva Palestina 5 Gaza Convoy?

Salaam and hi dear all,

Later in the day today 22nd September 2010, the Viva Palestina Land Convoy 5 will be heading for Ancona, Italy.


Well, Ferry ride to Patras, Greece!!!

* note to self... it is not like the Penang Bridge Ferry ok.... be prepared for the distance....

(posted by Sis Zabrina in middle of the night coping with insomnia in Malaysia to chat with Azura while Azura frantically trying to top up her internet credit in Italy to chat with Zabrina!)

Signboard in Italy

Our Viva Palestina Journey from Lyon, France to Turin, Italy

Salaam my dear family and friends,

Here are some photos during our journey from Lyon to Turin.

(posted by Sis Zabrina for her tired boss, Azura)

Azra to Gaza: VPM Convoy activists on Radio IKIM tonight!

Azra to Gaza: VPM Convoy activists on Radio IKIM tonight!: "Radio IKIM, Malaysia will be airing its interview with activists from Viva Palestina Malaysia and Viva Palestinaconvoy at 10.00pm (GMT+8) to..."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

While Passing Turin...

My dearest family and friends,

We arrived in Turin, Itali being escorted by (in Azra's words) handsome policemen riders in tight uniform....

Great news while driving to Turin was that IKIM Radio has agreed to do a live phone interview with the  Malaysian team members together with a few abang 'Mat Salleh' tomorrow (22nd September) at about 2pm Malaysian time. It is scheduled to be aired the same day at about 10pm Malaysian time. But I will reconfirm this with you guys as soon as I get the news.

TV3 will also do something too! I will let you know soon inshaAllah.

The view while driving was mashaAllah. Mountains, Valleys, Alps etc etc... breathtaking...

Although my hands were shaky holding the video camera, I tried to capture, record and filmed as many pictures as possible, or else Zabrina is not going to be too happy with me when I arrive home with empty CDs (as per her warning to me before departure)

And as a counter warning  yesterday, I told her she better get all the pictures I painfully take and send to her (via expensive roaming service charges), or else I will not only boycott Israel, but also boycott, or in Malay word, I will 'mogok' from sending pictures to her! hehe....

In my enthusiasm, I actually took so much pictures/video that I used up the CDs quite fast!

I cannot help it- the scenery was so wow... beauty, beauty, beauty, mashaAllah... and you know what, this beautiful highway got NO TOLL!!! ..he he... the road is free for all... great, right?

And also while driving, we finally got our Blackberry Messenger on- alas!

So now- we, both me and Azra were also busy chatting with the BBM ladies- Zabrina, Jamilah, Jemaimah and Noraini (who is now not in Malaysia)- all the way. These beautiful and enthusiastic (sorry, Azura, I have to insert these adjectives in! lol!) ladies so sibuk2 or in English nosy la... asking about scenery la, driving skill la, food, tired or not, leg aching or not etc etc.

But their sibuk-ing keeps me and Azra all happy and hyper!!

Thanks ladies!

But the moment Azra mentioned Italino riders, the whole bunch suddenly forgot about the beautiful scenery and our physical conditions; and asked us to focus on capturing the pictures of the police force. And Zabrina said, she will sell RM1 per picture with all proceeds goes back to VPM!

Haiyoo, Zabrina...exploitation mah....

Zabrina did mention to me to keep my eyes on the road and not to speed, or else my traffic speeding ticket collection will not stop in Malaysia, but will extend to France and Italy too! hehe.... worse, VPUK will suddenly be billed for them!

I said no worries... Me, Azura- a good driver outside Malaysia... she said, ada ka patut like that!... only outside Malaysia good? No wonder laaa you receive many love letters from the Traffic police these past years...

Relax Zabrina.... worse come to worse, if they take away my driving license, you can drive me around, right?  Lol!

And as extracted from the VPUK site,

'This meant that the day's programme had to be substantially curtailed as the delay wiped out several of them. However the Italian police were much more accommodating, dozens of motorcycle cops were on hand to escort the convoy into Turin, passing dozens of supporters, several of whom sent off smoke flares of welcome. 

After a rally in beautiful Castle Square in the dying sunlight the vans set off for Milan and the first night under canvas.'

Goodbye Turin, Itali... hello Milan!

Love from Azura,
(Hyper from too much coffee thru the 233km drive!)

The 20km Tunnel to Turin

(posted by Sis Zabrina for the clearly caffein overdose Azura)

Viva Palestina 5 Journey So Far @ 21st September 2010

Salaams and hello dearest all,

The convoy has started from London, went thru Paris and now Leaving Lyon, France to enter Turin, Italy.

Below is the map of our journey so far,

We travelled from Lyon to Turin yesterday, driving about 233 km or 145miles
(posted on behalf of Azura by Sis Zabrina)

Pictures at Lyon, France

Salaam and hello dearest friends,

Some pictures while we were in Lyon recently...

(posted on behalf of Azura)

Azra to Gaza: Recap of 20th September

Azra to Gaza: Recap of 20th September: "From Viva Palestina UK Monday 20th September The convoy was welcomed in the city of Valux-en-Velin, adjacent to Lyon, by the mayor, M Bern..."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Azra to Gaza: Today's Journey

Azra to Gaza: Today's Journey: "From Paris (A) to Lyon (B)"

Paris and Lyon....

Salaam and hi dear all,

Paris and Lyon...

Viva Palestina Land Convoy 5 had an eventful day today.

Let me see. Where shall I begin....

Oh, let me start from the place we slept last 2 nights- the beautiful Community Hall, Paris. All the men slept on the normal floor area, whilst women get to sleep on the upper level along the wall areas.

Of course, we all slept using our sleeping bag, and the hall provides a very nice and cozy place for us. Just right, like they said it!

As I was too tired from the drive, I slept almost immediately. So much different from my nights before that when I couldnt sleep out of sheer excitement thinking of me setting foot in Gaza!

Later that night, I just found out from a friend that this area we are staying in France, is twinned with Sabre Shatila! Imagine that! I must research this when I go back...

Or perhaps, my unpaid PA would want to do it for me? Lol! (Yes Zab, I am talking to you!)

Next day, among other activities, we had an amazing experience parading our convoy around The Square which I can safely say an equivalent to the Trafalgar Square. We literally stopped in the inner part of the roundabout and at road sides too!

The crowd was amazing. The convoy drove into town honking and attracting attention for the Palestinians cause.

There are also activists giving out pamphlets to the passerby.

Most of the Parisian gave us the thumbs up! And we wave the Palestinian flags too. I believe, there are some youtube videos already posted on this.

Later at night, we have a meeting with George Galloway, and because of the multi-lingual community we have in the convoy, everything had to kinda be translated. It was so interesting to listen to other languages...

Then, we all zzzz off happily, preparing ourselves for the journey the next day to Lyon.

Next day, no, I mean today, at 7.30am we are all set to leave Paris moving towards Lyon. It is about 400km away.

On the road, one of Malaysian's van light went kaput! But it wasnt serious, so, we are going to repair it in Milan.

Yes, Milan! We are going there after reaching Lyon, inshaAllah!

And as I sent Zabrina my latest text msg, I have arrived in Lyon, and had a great time eating yummy cheese, salad, french bread and chicken cooked with lots of green olives... Burp... alhamdulillah...

Now, this is why I keep telling people it is hard to shed pounds during missions- the hosts are always so gracious and too kind. We all end up eating more food when we are on a mission than when we are in KL!

And right now, some Viva Palestina reps are meeting with the Mayor of Lyon, including Sis Azra from Malaysia. While the rest of us, driving around parading our beautiful vehicles that have Viva Palestina stickers all around it!

Oh, and since Sis Azra is with the mayor, I am driving the van all by myself. Chewah!! So amused with myself coz it is a right-hand drive... not easy, you know.... sometimes my brain a bit confuse...just a bit lah... :))

And some of the beautiful French people tried to talk to us, but, unfortunately, I can't understand them. What a wasted opportunity.... Zab asked me to use sign language, which I can try, but not sure how successful I will be... afraid if I 'sent' the wrong message... you know, coz different sign for different culture...

Anyway, needless to say, we are going to sleep here today before continuing our journey tomorrow, inshaAllah.

Here are some pictures for you guys from my journey up to now.

Tomorrow, we will be driving about 338km or 210miles from Lyon to get us to Milan.

Beautiful Italy, here we come!!

(happily posted by the unpaid PA- Sis Zabrina for her heroic boss- Azura...)

Publish Post

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Our Journey So Far

Salaam dear all,

'Stole' this map from Aqsa2Gaza. Lol! Thanks brothers. It is just simply so great, I need to share it with others.

This has been our  Viva Palestina Land Convoy 5 journey thus far,

Travel Map from Luton(A) to Calais(B) via Dover and right to Paris(C)

Briefing by George Galloway, Community Hall, Paris.

George Galloway giving briefing to the members of Viva Palestina 5: A Global Land Convoy to Gaza at Community Hall, Paris, France today. We were hosted by the amazing local NGO in Paris- Palestine Resistance.

This hall you see below is where all Viva Palestina activists sleep at night. We are going spending another night here again today, inshaAllah.

George Galloway briefing the convoy members

I am at the back row, listening enthusiastically to GG. Every word is critical!

Will report and send more pictures tomorrow!

(posted by Sis Zabrina on behalf of Azura)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Arrived in Community Center, Paris @ 08:20 (GMT+8)

Salaam and hi everyone,

I just arrived at Community Center in Paris. Felt so sleepy right now actually. It is about 1.30am Paris time. You guys gotta figure out the GMT ya, coz no internet access to find out myself. Below is one of the posters pasted in the large basketball hall where we will be sleeping soon.

Tried to capture some video during the trip but was a little bit hard due to the continuous movement of the van. Road was kinda bumpy.

There are some vans broke down mid way, and one of them was our Malaysian vehicles.

Now, I am eating some French loaf with some grape juice. Weird combination, I supposed for us, huh? But cool to do so nevertheless!

Right after this, going to wash up and clean up and off to bed.

Tomorrow we are scheduled to have lots of activities  and would be meeting the Mayor too! Imagine that!

Cant wait.

Ok guy, need my sleep now, this then...

Paris, France.

One of the posters in Community Hall, Paris where activists spent their night on 18th September 2010
(posted by Sis Zabrina for Azura)

Azra to Gaza: Arrive in Paris - Update as @ 07:30 (GMT+8)

Azra to Gaza: Arrive in Paris - Update as @ 07:30 (GMT+8): "Arrived in overnight venue in Paris, France after a long tiring day. Now, 1.20am Paris time. Drive was challenging with vehicle breakdown, l..."

Pictures 18th September 2010

Azra to Gaza: Update @ 21:51 (GMT +8)

Azra to Gaza: Update @ 21:51 (GMT +8): "All vehicles (both groups) are now at truck shop. Viva Palestina Land Convoy 5 will be departing for Euro Tunnel crossing soon. (via text ..."

Azra to Gaza: Update @ 21:51 (GMT +8)

Azra to Gaza: Update @ 21:51 (GMT +8): "All vehicles (both groups) are now at truck shop. Viva Palestina Land Convoy 5 will be departing for Euro Tunnel crossing soon. (via text ..."

Journey to Gaza Begins- 18th September 2010

Salaam and hello dear all,

Today we had English Breakfast, literally, with some friends at the hotel we checked in.

Before we head start our day, I texted Zabrina, wanting to let her know a few things to convey to my mum. And of course, to tell her that I missed her too!

Then we went to the warehouse to collect our vehicles.

My van is numbered as A2, and the rest of the vans are A3, A4, A5, A6 and A7. Seems that the number stickers we made for our vehicles now would go to waste!

But maybe not.

Knowing my friends back home, they would go 'Ooo-Som' to get the Number 1 sticker to paste on their car! Wait, or is it 'lat-talilat-lai-li-tamplong?'

Oh well....

Anyway, just before the start of our historic journey, all the Malaysian guys were hugging one another saying goodbye. In the midst of the farewell wishes, Bro Azem, one of the Malaysian students couldn't hold back his tears. His emotions affected the rest of the brothers, and needless to say, every single brother was teary.

I was still a tough cookie at that point.

But the moment my van left the warehouse, I remembered that just 2 years back in 2008, I was watching horrifiedly on my TV set how the innocent children were bombed- suddenly, I felt overwhelmed and  started crying.

Perhaps that was why Zabrina, Jemaimah and Azian cried the other day at the airport. The thought of meeting some of these beautiful children myself, choked me.

Life indeed has its own twists and turns...

So now, I am on the road, making my way to Paris, France with the rest of the activists.

With Azra driving first, I now have time to ponder and dream of my coming days when I will set my foot in Gaza...

(posted by Sis Zabrina on behalf of Azura)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Meeting Friends at Vehicle Collection Center- Luton, UK

Salaam and hello dear all,

Our team has arrived at the Vehicle Collection Center, Luton. There, we meet activists from many different parts of the world.

Bonding was easy as we are all there for the same purpose- the help the people of Gaza, bring the much needed aid, and ultimately to Break the Siege illegally imposed on them.

Many ideas and stories are exchanged. Some of the activists had participated in the previous journey, so, they have given me many tips on the 'how-tos', 'should-nots' and 'must-do'! Thank you guys!

At this center, we also signed what is called Code of Conduct Agreement.

Soon, we were assigned to our vehicles. It was amazing spirit among activists. Looking into the empty vehicles which will be filled either in Turkey or Syria, we just cant wait to start our journey.

Hopefully, by the time we reach Turkey, our personal load will be reduced significantly, thus, providing more rooms to stuff in the aid into the van.

Honestly, I wouldnt mind even if I have only half a seat left, so long as I can get all what the Gazans needed into my van!!

Once we got our vehicle confirmed, we start sticking our stickers unto it. And the response from the VPUK was 'WICKED!!!!"

Lol, I cannot agree more!

Our VPM stickers look fantastic on our van. Of course, a few of the stickers have to be repositioned, as Zabrina got the full layout of the van only after the sticker was designed, and as she said, 'just stick it anywhere you find space'.

And that's exactly what we did!

So, that's all from now, reporting from Luton Town, UK.

Enjoy the pictures below!

Land Convoy 5- 17th September 2010 @ Luton, UK

(Posted by Sis Zabrina on behalf of Azura)

Now in Luton, London

Salaam and hello dearest all,

It is right now Friday 17th September 2010 @ 14:07 (GMT +1) and I am now moving towards Luton, London to pick up our vehicles. We (myself, Azra and Faizal) would be drivers and co-drivers for Viva Palestina Malaysia team.

Here are pictures of me, Azra and Faizal at St Pancras train station going to Luton.

Me and Azra at St Pancras Train Station to Luton.

Azra and Faizal at St Pancras train station to Luton

Signing off,

(posted on behalf of Azura)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Welcome to Azura4Gaza blog!

Salaam and Hello Everyone,

Welcome to Azura 4 Gaza blog!

Live Interview with TV3 on Land Convoy 5
My name is Azura, and I am a humanitarian activist with Viva Palestina Malaysia.

This blog is for my family and friends, and other activists, volunteers and supporters of Freedom for Palestine, and those whom are also interested to follow my journey to Gaza with the Viva Palestina 5: A Global Lifeline to Gaza team.

I will be updating this blog as frequent as I possibly can.

My close to 30-days journey will start from London, on Saturday morning, 18th of September 2010, and I shall be driving across Europe before entering Gaza via Egypt.

As of this moment, I am traveling via flight MAS after departure from KLIA on the 16th September 2010 @ 2340 (+8GMT), and schedule to reach London during the wee hour in the morning.

Seriously, I cant wait to meet up with all the other activists from all over the world, and together we hope to Break the Siege illegally imposed on Gaza.

I am all excited, but also very cautious.

Please keep us all in your prayers.

Salaams and Love always,

(posted by Sis Zabrina on behalf of Azura)