With a 10 day lead time, to organize a fund raiser, market it and aim for raising as much funds as possible towards the GAZA Ambulance Drive, Alhamdulillah, with the Grace of the Almighty, Allah SWT, and the support of our community, over R1,9 million was raised to purchase ambulances in Gaza, at the Durban based Cii Projects Gaza Ambulance Drive, featuring a talk from the renowned Dr Mads Gilbert, at NMJ Hall in Durban on the 27th August 2014.
The event was a project by Islamic Medical Association of South Africa, Minara business Chamber, BD Sand Palestine Solidarity Forum. The dinner, together with various exquisite items auctioned through generous donors, and an energetic platform for pledges, resulted in this phenomenal achievement, Alhamdulillah! All for the pleasure of Allah SWT.
Almost 1000 people sat silently in awe at the riveting presentation given by Gilbert, while countless more listened over air, as the talk was broadcasted on Channel Islam International Radio.
The Norwegian Doctor, a specialist in anesthesiology, served in the Al-Shifa Hospital during the most devastating bombing periods in the Gaza strip by Israeli Military, as well as serving in Gaza in the previous three attacks from 2006. His presentation based on the wars, was engulfed in emotion, heartache, and pain, as he gave a personal account of his days at the hospital, of how operating rooms were shared and decisions of who to save, and who to let die were made.
Using his own personal account, as well as verified sourced statistics, Gilbert placed names and faces to a select few, from children, mothers, the heroic hospital staff and the brave ambulance paramedic teams that were targets for the Israeli Military while responding to distress.
Gilberts thanked and saluted South Africa for their strong role in standing in solidarity with Gaza, adding that due to South African history, and the fight for freedom from apartheid, South Africa was seen as a role model to the people of Gaza.
He spoke about how the staff of Al-Shifa hospital applauded when they saw the massive Cape Town march for Gaza on television.
He thanked his hosts, Cii, and joked that when he initially received a call, he thought it was the CIA that were trying to get hold of him. Setting the tone for his presentation, he asked the audience to imagine they were in Gaza.
“Turn off the lights, there are no lights in Gaza, this will not be pleasant.”