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.
The EU has extended the sanction over Syria for another year, also adding a senior official to its sanctions list.
Israel already gets at least $3 billion annually from Washington however fears over an Iran deal has seen a request from Israel to the US to increase the spending.
Yemen border strikes have killed two Saudis on Wednesday, with the Yemeni death toll nearing 2,000 according to WHO.
Egyptian forces have arrested Mohame Taha Wahdan, near Cairo. Wahdan had been absent from the public since mid-2013.
The imam of Al Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb has agreed to meet with French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
With pressure mounting on Sepp Blatter to step aside, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron has called for the backing of Jordan's Prince Ali bin Ali Hussein has a candidate.
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said on Thursday he was hopeful that a deal regarding the nuclear negotiations would be finalized in the earliest possible time.
Iraq rebrands military campaign against ISIL over fears of sectarianism
On May 26, 2015, Egyptian authorities requested Qatar to extradite Qaradawi back to Egypt.
The leader of al Qaeda's Syria wing Nusra Front said his group was aiming to capture Damascus and the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would happen quickly.
The Arab League has said that they will be prepared to fight anywhere, when necessary.
ISIL have shot dead 20 at Palmyra amphitheater accusing them of being government supporters.
A raft of deals has been signed between the two countries including agreements on investment, energy and diplomatic affairs.
Hezbollah military commander Khalil Youssef Harb and Mohammed Qabalan labelled as terrorists by Saudi Arabia.
Iran's foreign minister has said that the war in Yemen will only be to Saudi Arabia's detriment.
Yemen has appointed a new interior minister who has been sworn in President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi's personal residence in Riyadh.