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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Aid worker diary: Eyewitness to the destruction

Islamic Relief aid worker, Salah Aboulgasem (not pictured above) is currently in Libya, delivering aid on the border area with Tunisia. Below is a diary entry before he and the IR team embarked from Eastern Libya to the west.
27 February 2011

In Benghazi, our day began with the encouraging site of young people out on the streets helping to keep the city functioning, directing traffic and picking rubbish from the streets and setting up guards for the various neighbourhoods .

As we looked around the city in the day light, in every direction there was evidence of the violence that had gone on over the past weeks. Cars burnt out and left abandoned on the side of the road, bullet holes in various walls and buildings painted with ash after being set alight.

As we arrived to the hospital, volunteers came to help us unload equipment so we could get set up as soon as possible and have the hospital fully functioning once again. The volunteers helped unload the four vans worth of medical equipment into the hospital which was put to use straight away.

As the rain poured down outside, the hospital was in full operation.

Outside, even though the streets were becoming filled with water, the young people maintained their positions and continued in their tasks. I feel inspired by these ordinary citizens that have seen tasks that need to be completed and have taken it upon themselves to help.

The situation here seems relatively stable, whereas our assessments on the Tunisian border indicate that we need to focus our intervention to an increasingly unstable situation there.

Therefore, I intend to travel back to Cairo and then to Tunisia to join our team on the Libya border.

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