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Syria mercy mission sets off from East End's Angel compound

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 November 2012

Human Aid UK's chairman Jilu Miah and secretary Nur Choudhury

Human Aid UK's chairman Jilu Miah and secretary Nur Choudhury

Archant

A humanitarian convoy is setting off from the Angel compound heading for Syria with medical supplies and equipment on a 2,000-mile mercy mission.

Human Aid UK's chairman Jilu Miah and secretary Nur ChoudhuryHuman Aid UK's chairman Jilu Miah and secretary Nur Choudhury

A fleet of eight ambulances is being overhauled at Bethnal Green’s Angel Recovery taxi garage, ready to set off on Saturday evening.

The convoy with 20 volunteers including four doctors leaves from the Human Aid UK charity’s headquarters in Whitechapel at 5pm, heading for the 8pm Channel ferry from Dover.

The volunteers will drive overland through France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, take another ferry to Greece and head overland to Istanbul and across Turkey to the Syrian border.

“All volunteers are paying their own way—food, travel, hotels and the flight back to Britain,” the charity’s international chairman Jilu Miah told the Advertiser.

“They include doctors, medical students hospital staffs and pharmaceutical industry workers—all taking unpaid leave to carry out this mercy mission.”

The convoy is taking medical supplies and equipment such as defibrillators, blood pressure machines, wheelchairs and stethoscopes after a year’s fundraising.

“There is a blockade—but we expect the Syrian government to allow humanitarian aid through,” Mr Miah explained.

“We have authorisation, but a limited amount of aid is being allowed in by the regime.”

The father-of-two is taking unpaid leave from his job as a Tower Hamlets consultant youth worker.

“We expect to see much death and many badly injured people and orphans,” he added. “It’s a traumatic experience just going there.”

The volunteers arrive at refugee camps near the Bab al-Hawa crossing post on November 29 to hand over the ambulances, equipment and supplies to Syrian volunteers, then fly back a week later.

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