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I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

Date

March 5, 2009

My dream come true

Only problem, I have two eyes and I am not about to sacrifice one to lodge that camera.

EYEBORG– The Two Week Trial from eyeborg on Vimeo.

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A SMOOTH CROSSING INTO EGYPT

vivapalestinaViva Palestina Convoy Update
19.00 (GMT) Thursday 4rd March 2009

The convoy was over 3 miles long and contained about 220 vehicles. So it was an awesome sight when finally, at about 1.00pm local time, the first vehicles rolled into Egypt, where they were met at the borders by officials and a jubilant crowd.

The Egyptians organised the convoy into smaller groups and set off towards the town of SALUM, their first stop. The convoy was handled with military precision by the army and the police. I am told and everyone was relieved at the speed of the crossing.

In Salum they were met by children, who handed them flowers, and they were warmly welcomed by the people. Then they were taken to a huge tent where a press conference was held and a reception ceremony took place.

Lunch was on the menu, before being whisked away to continue their journey towards the beautiful coastal town of MATRUH.

A lavish reception awaits them in this picturesque part of Egypt where they are expected to enjoy the sea breeze after experiencing the beauty and quietness of the desert.

Overall, a good start to the final leg of the journey. Gaza is getting ever so close and the mission is close to being accomplished.

The Gaddafi Foundation for Charity and Development sent a message to Viva Palestina expressing its sorrow and offering its condolences for the family of the deceased Journalist Souad Abu Shiba and wish a quick recovery for her colleagues Ibrahim Hania, and the photographer Salah Nejm after the tragic car accident which occurred yesterday.

Prepared and translated by Farid Arada
Source : by e-mail

Tittle Tattle in The Guardian – George Galloway’s office responds

From Rob Hoveman, House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A0AA

Re: Guardian article March 3, ‘ Galloway’s Gaza mission runs into protests’

It says everything we need to know about cynical journalism (March 3) that the first time the Guardian chooses to cover the Viva Palestina convoy of aid to Gaza – an epic journey of over 5,000 miles – it is to repeat as fact tittle tattle culled from the blogosphere.

Two hundred and eighty people have driven through eight different countries to deliver over a million pounds of aid to the stricken people of Gaza. Everywhere we have been, the convoy has been greeted with thousands of well-wishers who have provided food, fuel and accommodation.

The Algerian government allowed passage across the border with Morocco for the first time in 15 years. In Tunisia we were joined by six of the people who the Lancashire police wrongly arrested and detained, preventing them reaching London for the start of the journey.

In Libya we were celebrated by thousands on the streets and a Libyan charity, inspired by the convoy, has established its own convoy of trucks to Gaza.

We are currently negotiating entry into Egypt and passage through to Gaza. The Egyptian authorities are doing everything they can to assist the process and we are in their hands, as we have been with all the other governments whose countries we have crossed in order to take these vital supplies into Gaza.

The Viva Palestina convoy and the achievements of the 280 volunteers who have driven so far deserve celebration, not denigration by The Guardian.

Rob Hoveman
Assistant to George Galloway MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

TRAGEDY SO NEAR TO THE END

19.30 (GMT) Wednesday 4rd March 2009

This afternoon, a Libyan female journalist on her way to join our convoy, was involved, along with her colleague and a photographer in a road traffic accident, which unfortunately resulted in her death. Her two colleagues were also injured ain the crash, but the extent of their injuries is (at the time of writing) still unknown.

The leader of the Manchester contingent Talat Ali and Rabah Abdulramuz would like, on behalf of the Viva Palestina British convoy, to pass on their condolences and prayers to the families of the young lady and a speedy recovery for the injured.

They would like to reassure the families back home that all of the British members are safe. However, understandably the mood is very sombre and a Janaza (funeral ceremony) prayer has been organised by the convoy members this evening.

The Convoy are now about 20km from the border with Egypt. The Egyptian government has taken charge of the arrangements to ensure a smooth and comfortable crossing of Egypt by Viva Palestina starting tomorrow morning.

An official delegate from The National Party is in the border area preparing the welcome. He has informed the leaders of the route they will be taking and of the program of events awaiting them.

Source : by e-mail

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