UWE employee joins aid convoy to Gaza for Christmas

Issue date: 25 November 2009

Siamak Alimi Next week a convoy of over 250 vehicles carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza will depart from the UK for a 5,000 mile trip through seven borders. A member of staff from the University of the West of England will be joining the convoy in a decorated saloon car as part of the Bristol contingent co-ordinated by the Bristol Gaza link.

Siamak Alimi will be leaving his family behind over the Christmas period, he said, “My family have been really supportive by allowing me to take part in this event over Christmas. I just felt that I had to do something. The news of the plight of the people of Gaza has made a big impact on me and the convoy captured my imagination. I think the convoy is a fantastic way to provide practical help and a message of support from one community to another.

“It's the first time that I have taken part in a humanitarian aid venture and I have mixed emotions about it all but the overriding feeling is a need to show solidarity with the people of Gaza.

“I first got involved through my role as a Governor of the local school in Coleway Forest of Dean where the school was organising messages of support from Gloucestershire children to children in schools in Gaza. I wanted to do more and found out about the Bristol Gaza link and I felt inspired by the convoy.”

When he arrives in Gaza, Siamak will visit schools and put his IT expertise to good use. He hopes to help with some teaching and will also link up with the one of the universities in Gaza.

The convoy departs Bristol on Friday 4 December the volunteers will fly home from Gaza on 2 January 2010 and returns to the UK on 4 January 2010.

The Gaza truck is visiting the Bower Ashton Campus on Thursday 26 November and Frenchay Campus on Friday 27 November.

Anyone wishing to support the convoy can donate by going to the website at http://bglink.ning.comor send the text “VIVA” to 84424.

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