03 June 2009


Today begins a series of diaries on the HOPE Convoys recent trip to deliver aid to Gaza. This one will be followed with a post showing the convoy delivering the aid to the various hospitals inside Gaza. I hope to have that one up later today, so feel free to check back. click to enlarge any photo below:

Once we crossed the border, we were greeted by crowds of cheering people lining the roads of Gaza, from Rafah all the way to Gaza City.

Despite the fact that it was very late at night by the time we had been allowed to cross the border and get on the road to Gaza City. People were turning out to welcome the aid and the convoy members who had been permitted to cross by the Egyptian authorities. Below is a photograph of the first person we saw after crossing the border. He ran ahead of the others to greet us, give us flowers and take our photograph while we took a photograph of him!

But we had no idea yet of the scale of desperate need that we would be confronted with, or the cruelty of those who inflict this blockade on innocent men, women and children. Even witholding access to medical treatment as a weapon against innocent people.

The next 4 days would be both exhilarating and devastating. As we all struggled with the emotions of relief at getting the medical aid inside, followed by sheer horror at the scale of the destruction. The cruel ongoing suffering endured by innocent men, women and children, in what has to be described as the world’s largest prison.click to enlarge any photo below:

Below are just some of the photos of daily life in Gaza. More photos will be posted in other diaries as I have to break them up into smaller groups there are that many.
click to enlarge any photo below:

The above photo reminds me very much of the North of Ireland. If you look at the header graphic for this blog, you will see murals people have painted here, both for the Irish struggle and the Palestinian struggle for freedom. We have murals everywhere here and many tourists come to see the more famous ones. Gaza was much the same, murals depicting their struggle on streets and walls.