Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Valentine for Palestine:
The George Galloway Convoy to Gaza
By Yvonne Ridley
Press TV, February 19, 2009
Yvonne Ridley arrives in
Gaza in the August of 2008 as a member of the Free Gaza Movement.
Valentine's Day, the annual February 14 celebration, is rooted in
paganism until Christian leaders pegged it to the legend of a third century
saint after failing miserably to stop the annual festival.
millions of people of faith and no faith across the world exchange cards and
flowers as symbols of their love, so I suppose it was quite apt that
February 14 was chosen by British MP George Galloway as the day to send a
gift to the people of Palestine.
But instead of a simple card and
bunch of roses, Britain's best known politician decided his Valentine for
Palestine would be a show stopper.
His journey from Big Ben to
Baghdad ten years ago was a mammoth task, but nothing like “Viva Palestina!”
which involves more than 100 vehicles, 285 people and a spectacular
mile-long procession including fire engines, ambulances and a boat all bound
from London to Gaza.
George is sending a land convoy of aid, gift
wrapped in love and solidarity to the people of Gaza and I will be with him
all the way recording the historic trip by blog.
I will be hoping to
emulate the success in smashing the Israeli-imposed siege by sea when I
arrived in Gaza last August as a member of the Free Gaza Movement.
Tomorrow's convoy, stretching more than one mile, will roll from central
London around noon on Saturday (GMT) and head for war-torn Gaza via France,
Spain before winding its way across north Africa.
My daily diary
will keep you informed of who is on the convoy, the human interest stories
around each truck and van loaded with humanitarian aid and our adventures on
Many of you who are reading this blog have donated cash
and aid to the convoy, and as stakeholders in “Viva Palestina” it is only
right you are kept informed of your investment in the future hopes of those
We are told there are quite a few official welcomes and
receptions being planned for us on our journey which has already been
described as the largest British convoy to cross the Maghreb since the
Second World War.
So if you want to keep informed follow this column
for the next 21 days.
See you all in Gaza!
* According to
legend, in the third century A.D. Roman Emperor Claudius II, seeking to
reinforce the ranks of his army, forbade young men to marry.
Valentine, it is said, flouted the ban, performing marriages in secret. For
his defiance, Valentine was executed in A.D. 270-on February 14.
We're leaving with our convoy of aid to Gaza on
Saturday. We'll keep you updated, but so far there are over 100 vehicles
going to Gaza, including fire engines, ambulances, trucks and even boats.
We've collected £1million of aid, but the people of Gaza need more.
If you want to follow the progress of the convoy, sign up to Twitter - I'll
post regular updates on our progress. Go to
http://www.twitter.com, sign up and then follow George Galloway -
More importantly, we still
need to collect as much money as possible for the people of Gaza. You can
make a donation on our Viva Palestina website -
Many thanks for all
your support. Please forward this email to everyone you know - tell everyone
to visit http://www.vivapalestina.org
and make a donation, and to follow our progress at
If you belong to any online forums or know of any websites with a lot of
visitors, please tell them all about
http://www.vivapalestina.org/donations.htm - the BBC cost the people of
Gaza a lot by refusing to show the aid appeal; we'll take the aid directly
there. Get everyone you can to link to the Viva Palestina website and to
make appeals for donations.
Thanks, and viva Palestina!
Visit George's official website
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