As salaam alaikum Day 11- 24th February -(convoy 60km outside Algiers to Constantine) Noorah -Algiers to Annaba . Algeria As planned Noorah left Mary’s house in Algiers to head towards Annaba and the Tunisian border, as she was travelling alone and was not with the convoy she was stopped at each check point along the way, which she states were atleast 35. At each check point Mehnaz the sister travelling with Noorah would make dua and the police would ask them a few questions and let them go. She drove all day just stopping once (apart from the check points) and arrived very late at night at Annaba (close to the Tunisian border)and stayed in a hotel there. The convoy however were still some 8 hours behind her at Constantine for the night. Day 12 – 25th February (Convoy Constantine through Tebessa -Tunisian border -to Gafsa) Noorah from Annaba (Tunisian border) to Gafsa. Noorah drove this morning to the Tunisian border at the North of the country. The convoy however decided to change its mind and instead of crossing the border at Annaba decided to drive south towards the border at Tebessa. Noorah crossed the border into Tunisia to an amazing welcome, supposed to be for the whole convoy. The Mayor was present together with many people and display of food for the drivers. The were a little confused when only 1 vehicle crossed the border and asked Noorah where the rest of the drivers were, Noorah at that point thought that the convoy would arrive a little later, but upon telephoning someone in the main convoy found out that they were near Tebessa. Noorah had to apologise to the people at the Northern border and let them know that the others were not coming. The police then escorted Noorah south through the mountains towards the convoy who were entering Tunisia near Tebessa. Noorah rejoined the convoy and was with them last near Feriana travelling towards Gafsa. She complained that the drivers of the convoy were being treated like prisoners, were not allowed to stop to go to the toilet or anything else unless the whole convoy was made to stop. Since rejoining the convoy she says that they have not stopped to eat anywhere and were only given water by the police. Many drivers are unhappy with the way they are being treated by the police who is escorting them through the North African countries. Please make dua that Allah makes it easier for them, and that they reach Gaza safely. May Allah give them the patience and strength to continue and may Allah protect them and keep them safe and give them the guidance to stay on the straight path. wa salaam zubia
|As salaam alaikum
Again I apologise for the lateness of this email, couldn’t get hold of Noorah yesterday, more on why later.
Night 8 – 21st February – Maghnia – Ain Temouchant (Algeria)
After hours of waiting the convoy was finally let into Algeria, to an amazing welcome (finally). As they drove from Maghnia to Ain Temouchant, there were people lining the roads and following the convoy (as they were going at a very slow speed). Noora said” The welcome and atmosphere was amazing, people lined the streets, praying for us and cheering us on, one man went into a shop as I was passing, he came out and put a crate of water on my lap as I was driving, other people threw in Bismillah and various other car ornaments with duas on it through the open window. One man held is young son to the window, and he walked by the car whilst his son recited Surah Al- Mulk to us”. The petrol is also free to the convoy in Algeria, although I am not sure if this has been provided by the government or an individual person.
That night they stayed in Ain temouchant.
Day 9 -22nd February – Ain Temouchant to Chlef???? Algiers????
The police escorted the convoy towards Chlef which was the original destination of the convoy for that night. Noorah states ” that we were travelling at a very slow speed all day, I needed to get my car repaired, but the police would not listen to me, they would only escort us to the petrol station and then back to the convoy, the convoy kept stopping every few minutes on the hard shoulder, and I was really getting fed up”.
The convoy reached Chlef at 7.30pm local time, but instead of stopping for the night the police decided to let them continue towards Algiers. The convoy stopped 60 kilometres outside Algiers very early this morning.
But going back to the beginning of this email. Where was Noorah last night?? Why couldn’t I reach her when the rest of the convoy was travelling towards Algiers. Well because Noorah has gone A.W.O.L. (absent without leave). She was not with the convoy last night, and before I give anyone a heart attack, just to say that Noorah is safe and well. She was worried about her car and was getting very annoyed with the police convoy going at such a slow speed and stopping all the time.
So just before Chlef as the convoy took the slip road towards Algiers, Noorah decided to carry on straight. She drove around the mountain areas of Chlef before a check post policeman escorted her to a local hotel. Whilst the rest of the convoy was driving towards Algiers, Noorah stayed in Chlef. The hotel was holding a convention for Doctors, and she said that the doctors paid for our room, realizing we were with Viva Palestina.
Day 10 -23rd February (Convoy remains outside Algiers) Chlef – Algiers
This morning Noorah drove to Algiers, where she got her car fixed and having got in touch with Mary, spent the rest of the day and night resting at Mary’s house in Algeria. Jazak’Allah khair Mary, may Allah bless you and your family. She is 60km ahead of the Convoy and as the convoy leaves tonight for the Tunisian border, Noorah plans to leave at Fajr time and catch up with the convoy at the border crossing. People on the convoy do know of her whereabouts and are not worried about her. Insha’Allah she will catch up with them and will probably reach the Tunisian border before they do.
Please continue to make dua for Noorah.. May Allah give her patience and strength, and may the convoy be allowed to enter Gaza.
p.s next time Noorah plans any kind of trip one of us have got to go with her, Subhan’Allah!
As salaam alaikum Insha’Allah you will be in the best of health when you receive this email, again I am sorry for no update yesterday, was unable to get into contact with Noorah. Night 6 -19th February -Fez The convoy was still under “house arrest” in the hotel. Day 7- 20th February – Fez to Oujda (Morocco) The convoy left the hotel enroute to Oujda and somehow they were allowed to travel in the daylight hours. The Government and police had managed to stop the rallies, tried to keep them in a secret location, but still on their route from Fez to Oujda they could not stop the public coming out of their houses to show support. Noorah said “this has been the best part of the journey so far, people were out on the streets, waving and cheering as the convoy past. There were alot of people shouting ‘Bravo!’ “. The travelled to Oujda, but the police escort would not let the convoy travel through the main town, and took them through many back streets. As it became darker they were told to stop all vehicles in a car park, and were told they had to eat, Noorah said ” I was so tired, that instead of going to eat, I pulled out my sleeping bag and fell asleep on the pavement”. When the group returned the police then said that they would be taken in buses to another secret hotel to spend the night. By the time they got to the hotel it was nearly morning and time to get back up. Day 8- 21st February – Oujda to the Moroccon – Algerian Border. The convoy drove some 15 miles to the border. The convoy has spent all of the day in “No Man’s Land”. They have left Morocco but have not yet been given the go ahead to enter Algeria. The authorities have taken their passports for inspection, and the convoy has been left just waiting. There was however a band, and a boy scout group on the Algerian border for their welcome. The authorities have been handing out bread in rations to the convoy, and Noorah compared it to the aid that the people of Gaza receive. ” The authorities came to hand out some bread out of hours and we all had to go and collect our ration and go back to our vehicles”. As I was talking to her you could hear the Isha Adhan in the background. It seems again that the Algerian Government will only allow them to travel at night as well. At present the convoy remains in ” No man’s Land”, insha’Allah will keep you updated with what happens from here on. Noorah is now in group 6 with the team from Bradford, She said that the Brothers and Sisters in the Group and very caring and are making sure she is o.k. May Allah reward them. Please continue to make dua for Noorah and the convoy, insha’Allah tomorrow they will reach their half way mark. A story of Inspiration from No Man’s Land. by Noorah. ” A group of Brother’s were standing in a circle in No man’s land for quite a while, when I approached them to see what was happening, I saw the Brothers all watching a group of caterpillars making their way from one border to the other. It was exactly like a convoy. They were all following one caterpillar exactly where it led them to go. The Brothers were intrigued and wanted to see what would happen if they took they leader or “Ameer” of the caterpillars out of the convoy. So one Brother picked up the 1st Caterpillar and put him to one side. The rest of the Caterpillars all curled up and in a matter of minutes another there was another Leader/Ameer and the caterpillars all followed the direction he was taking. The Brothers tried the experiment again and the same thing happened the Caterpillars all curled up, like to have a discussion and another Ameer/ leader emerged. Masha’Allah they seem to be much better than humans”. Maybe we have alot to learn from the Caterpillars, they are able to follow their Leaders with no problems, no fights, no arguements, and when they loss their leader, they quickly elect a new one, without any wars, without any bloodshed, Subha’Allah and humans are named the best of creation, I think we have a long way to go and could learn alot from the animal kingdom. keep Noorah and the convoy in your dua’s, May Allah give them the strength and patience to persevere and reach Gaza safely. wa salaam z p.s sorry if I said anything to offend anyone
as salaam alaikum
Again I am sorry for not having set an email yesterday at the end of day 5 but, I couldn’t get through to Noorah at all last night. (more on this later).
Night 4 -17th February Saville to Algericas
My last update finished at Noorah still travelling at Midnight towards the Spanish Southern coastline to a place called Algericas. At the time all the convoy was split into groups but all were told to reach Algericas on the night of the 17th February no matter how many hours they had to drive. In order to meet this deadline, the group leader forgot her duties and carried on regardless of where the cars she was in charge of were. One car took a wrong turning and no one stopped for them. But Noorah decided to follow the car and managed to guide them to Algericas.
That night Noorah slept under her car, Subhan’Allah for a couple of hours.
Day 5 -18th February Algericas to Tangier
The convoy was to travel from Algericas, board a ferry to Tangier, Morocco, where again there were big promises for what lay ahead including a police convoy through out Morocco,
A welcome in Tangier and a rally in Casablanca. The boarding of the ferry was problematic in itself as the Police would not allow anyone on with their Viva Palestina T shirts on, which all the drivers were wearing.
What lay ahead when they reached Tangier, was Police and Security. There werepeople who were there for the welcome, but Noorah said they seemed to be a numbered few who were there just for show for the press. They had their vehicles searched, had sniffer dogs go through each vehicle and then had to drive through metal detectors….. Is someone forgetting this is an aid convoy!!! They then detained 1 driver, who was freed 1 and a half hours later. Ofcourse the rest of the Convoy had to wait.
In Morocco, the whole convoy has to stay together with police escort. The started to travel after dark and were told they were not travelling towards Casablanca for the rally and were heading straight to Fes.
It was during this time I tried to contact Noorah and was getting worried as I was unable to get through. As she said today I had every right to be worried as they were actually driving all night last night.
Night 5- 18th February Tangier to Fes..
The entire journey was undertaken in the dark in fog conditions, Noorah said it was very difficult to see the vehicle in front of them and drivers of the convoy complained to the police of the conditions. But the police did not stop the convoy, until their own police car fell into a ravine. Noorah said Alhumdolillah it was their vehicle and not one of ours. The convoy obviously stopped for a while and due to tiredness Noorah could not continue to drive, alhumdolillah a brother decided to take her place at the wheel for an hour. May Allah reward him. While Noorah slept, of all places on the generator that is being taken to Gaza.May Allah give her the strength to carry on.
Day 6 Fes
Noorah said “the reason that they made us travel by night, was so that the public would not be able to see our vehicles, be aware of our whereabouts, and would not come out to support us”.
Yvonne Ridley states in her blog for today that the convoy is having a restful day in Fes whilst waiting for other drivers to catch up. I am not sure who she is waiting for as the whole convoy is together. As for “a great day in Morocco”. Noorah called me herself today alhumdolillah and said that the convoy was in a state of “house arrest”. They had been taken to a hotel on the outskirts of Fes whilst it was dark and since they have arrived they have been forbidden by the police to leave the premises, the only place they can go is to the petrol station to fill up their tanks and they have to return back to the hotel.
I really do not understand what the media or for that matter the viva palestina website is trying to show the public but it is no where near the truth of what is happening to the convoy.
The convoy will travel over night again to Maghnia (the Algerian border). The convoy really has lost all expectations of what will happen next. Noorah has asked for everyone to make dua for everyone on the convoy and especially for the fact that she is able to fulfill her neeyah to get the aid to the children of Gaza.
May Allah make the journey easier for them and allow them a way into Gaza and a safe journey back to us.
p.s I am sorry for the length of these updates which seem to be becoming more of an adventure novel. Subhan’Allah may Allah make the days ahead better for them.
Noorah has asked for these updates to be circulated so that people can find the real truth what is happening! Jazak’Allah khair
My dear friend Z was able to contact the convoy once again…
as salaam alaikum I apologise for not giving you an update on day 3, but I only got to speak to her very briefly on monday night, so Insha’Allah I will now give you an update for day 3 and 4 Night 2 Supposedly as I informed you Noorah should have spent night 2 in the Bordeaux Town hall, as that is what they were promised by the Mayor, hmmmm. What can I say? In Noorah’s own words ” we drove past all these huge buildings in the town centre, thinking we would be staying in one of those, but we drove past them all and ended up in some small back streets, there the brothers slept in a gym hall, similar to Islamia’s and the Sisters went to a local mosque for the night”. Day 3 – 16th February Today the Convoy was meant to drive to San Sebastion, and hold a rally there, they were promised a good meal and local support. When they arrived at San Sebastion, no one knew who they were. It seems that we are hearing alot of good things, but the reality seems to be something else. Do make dua for them and let everyone keep to their intentions. Subhan’Allah. Like I said I was only able to speak to Noorah very briefly on this night just to find she was on the outskirts of Madrid. I went onto the Vivapalestina web site to find that the Mayor of the Town they were in was actually putting them up for the night, which gave me some peace of mind. It seems again that a few Brothers were put up in a sports hall, as Yvonne Ridley states in her blog. Noorah and her group were unaware of any such thing and opted to stay instead in a Hotel. I hope that way they got some better sleep although I don’t know how many hours of sleep they got as she was still on the road at 1am. Day 4 – 17th february They were meant to drive from Madrid to the Southern Italian Border to a town called Algerciras and the port of Tarifa. The main convoy has been split into groups and are all travelling at their own speeds. According to Noorah the day hasn’t been too bad, although she is quite mad at having to wait for others in the group to catch up. There is alot of stopping and waiting going on. At 11pm (gmt) they had only just passed Serville and had another few hours drive to go to reach Tarifa. But as it is Noorah masha’Allah she is still laughing and joking about the whole thing, and thinking of doing a “lone ranger” and just meeting the convoy in Cairo. She is comparing the whole experience as a little disorganised and alot like “wacky races” (the 70s cartoon). Please continue to pray for Noorah and the convoy, as Yvonne Ridley is also stating it isnt as easy as it seems. May Allah make the journey easier for them, and make them reach safely into Gaza. On a positive note 7 of the Brothers that were arrested the night before the convoy set off, are on their way to join the rest of the convoy in Tunis insha’Allah. keep on making dua wa salaam z
|As salaam alaikum
I spoke to Noorah about an hour ago, alhumdolillah she is fine despite of the fact that
Tomorrow they will be on their way to Madrid, they will also be stopping in St sebastion, for a rally. Madrid will be closing roads to allow the convoy through. We really should be thanking these Mayors of these towns. By the way where was the Mayor of London on the 14th???
Insha’Allah will update you again tomorrow, Noorah sends her salaams.
She wanted you to know that she is now travelling with the Manchester convoy and is happy to be with them.
Keep Noorah in your prayers and also the people of Gaza.
Those who read my blog regularly(if not stay a little bit longer and read earlier posts) know about my friend who is on her way to Gaza as part of the British convoy… Well let me tell you that Noorah has many many friends who are concerned for her well being and pray for her and the rest of her crew. The following email is from a sisters who has helped Noorah in so many different ways. Sister Z has organized coffee mornings in the school to fund raise, skipping sponsorships, cut out all the letters to go on the van…and many more. May Allah bless her and reward her with good in the dunya and in the akhira, ameen.
As salaam alaikum I promised Noorah before she left that I wont let anyone forget her while she is on her way to Gaza. So Insha’Allah I will be emailing daily to update you on how she is as I will be calling her each night to check in. I spoke to her about 20 minutes ago, Alhumdolillah she is fine and is docking in to Ostend. She managed to get onto the ferry, but No Thanks to the police who pulled her over on the way to Ramsgate. Please make dua for the safe travel of the convoy, as it now seems that people (police and authorities) are going to make things difficult for them.May Allah make it easy for them. The convoy is now going to find somewhere to sleep in the cold will stop around 1am and will have to be back up and on the road at 6am. Noorah has asked me to call her again in the morning.So will send another update and she sends you her salaams. Please make continuous dua for her. May Allah make her journey a success and may she return to us safely. Jazak’Allah khair with love and prayers Z