World Bulletin/News Desk
A humanitarian aid convoy inspired by the 2010 Mavi Marmara aid flotilla departed early on Friday from Turkey in an effort to help Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP) with their urgent needs, given the rapidly worsening situation in Syria.
“Our main purpose is to help those [Syrians] who are suffering and most affected by the humanitarian crisis, dealing with the challenges of being displaced by civil war,” said Mohammed Abdelhalim, a human rights activist from Egypt, who is also the head of the aid convoy, before its departure from the southern province of Kilis, on the Turkish-Syrian border.
In his address to the members of the Syria-bound convoy, Abdelhalim stressed that the objective of the aid initiative is purely humanitarian and had no political orientation or agenda.
The convoy is called “Hayat” (Life) and is set to bring aid items to both IDPs inside Syria and refugees in neighboring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
“We named our convoy ‘Life' to bring a hope for tomorrow to those Syrians who have been deprived of the minimum life standards in their own country by [President Bashar al-] Assad and his bloody regime,” Wafaa Elyaagoubi, spokesperson for the group, Hayat Aid Convoy for Syria, told Today's Zaman on Friday.
This first shipment organized by the Hayat Aid Convoy for Syria consists of 25 truckloads and will be traveling for four days, April 25-29. Six journalists and 19 human rights activists from several countries, including Australia, Britain, China, Egypt, Germany, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey, are participating. The second shipment will be delivered during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The original idea was launched by a group of young Egyptian human rights activists, who were inspired by the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla that was on its way to the Gaza Strip in May 2010 to relieve the effects of the Israeli blockade.
Sharing their idea with international human rights organizations, the young activists from Egypt created a team to arrange assistance for Syria with colleagues from Britain, Canada, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The convoy is going to visit the Bab al-Salam refugee camps in Azaz and Atma, near the Turkish-Syrian border, the Arab Medical Union Hospital near Aleppo and the Qah refugee camp in Idlib as well as the Nizip refugee camp in southern Turkey.
Regime forces were killed in Jobar district of Damascus
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Tehran should continue with 2015 deal despite fresh US sanctions
An official Saudi source renews accusations against Tehran of 'spreading terrorism and extremism'
Four Arab states severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism
After the liberation of Mosul and loss of territory in Syria's Raqqa, ISIL terrorist group has become more active in the unrest in southern Philippines, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Nigeria’s Borno State.
Israeli media report reopening of Cairo embassy could be imminent after 8-month closure
Nearly 4.1 million Jordanians are eligible to vote in the election
Around 4,000 people near Hadalat crossing reportedly living only on flour, water
But Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano suggested there were more prospects now for the truth to be revealed.
Case number rapidly approaching ICRC projection of 600,000 infections by end-2017
Around 800 pilgrims are set to cross the terminal on Monday
Medhat Shousha quits in wake of deadly train accident
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rarely addresses the Kurdish issue.
Many Egyptians were forced to flee the country after the military coup against Morsi
Scientists at the Dimona Nuclear Research Centre have been on a slowdown strike for the past three months after their demand for a wage increase was refused.
The bill must still be approved by the conservative-dominated Guardian Council but gained parliamentary approval after months of debate, according to parliament's website and the ISNA news agency.