Glasgow Student to Drive Ambulance to Rafah Border in Aid of Gaza Civilians

A student from Glasgow is gearing up to drive an ambulance all the way to Gaza, offering a lifeline to civilians caught in the throes of conflict.

In January, Umran Ali Javaid acquired the ambulance and has now secured the green light from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) in Israel. His journey will take him to the Rafah border, where the ambulance will be entrusted to UNRWA, the foremost humanitarian body operating in Gaza.

Javaid, who has a history of delivering 40 second-hand ambulances to conflict zones, including a mission to a small Ukrainian hospital last September, is pursuing a master’s in International Tourism and Event Management. He remarked, “During war innocent civilians, especially children, need help and the ambulance can transport those that are injured and infants as it is equipped with a neo-natal ventilator.”

The journey requires substantial paperwork for border crossing into Gaza, involving both COGAT and the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Javaid’s itinerary includes a departure from Glasgow next week, a ferry crossing from Dover to France, followed by a traverse through Europe to Turkey, and then a sea voyage to Al Arish port in Egypt, culminating in a drive to the Rafah border. This route has served him before in delivering aid to Gaza amidst ongoing conflict.

He also expressed optimism about the upcoming Cyprus-Gaza shipping route, which promises to facilitate humanitarian aid delivery.

Javaid shared his distress over the conflict’s impact on civilians, stating, “Innocent civilians are always the first to be impacted by the horrors of war. It’s heartbreaking to see what is going on in the region.”

He highlighted the exceptional readiness of British ambulances to provide urgent medical care, emphasizing the acute need for such resources among hospitals and aid organisations in the area. “That said, one ambulance can only help a few hundred people in the coming months which is a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed,” he acknowledged.

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