UWT Inside Libya

    UWT travelled across Eastern Libya to assess the needs of those suffering in the conflict. Following field assessments, UWT asked UK donors to donate for emergency medical and food supplies.

    Alhamdulillah, with your help UWT delivered a convoy of relief supplies to Al Jalaa Hospital. As the conflict prolongs and casualties escalate, the Trust asks that you continue to support this cause.

    See the reality on the ground as UWT helped those suffering in the devastating fallout of this war:

    Fleeing from Oppression
     

     

    Appeal for Medical Aid
     

    Read About Adams Journey


     Shaykh Adam ibn Yusuf in an Aid distribution centre with an Aid Worker whose face has been blurred for security reasons
     

    Shoyeb Adat (UWT Project Manager) and Shaykh Adam ibn Yusuf (UWT fundraiser) travelled across Eastern Libya to see the devastation wreaked and the lives destroyed.

    Shaykh Adam ibn Yusuf is currently in Libya. Read his account of the current situation.

    9th April – A Stain in the memories

    Finally back home. Though happy to return to my family and friends, I will never forget the sufferings I had witnessed, the stories of injustice, oppression, murder and rape that had been mentioned. Unmentionable crimes were currently being inflicted on the innocent and honourable Libyans.

    I pray to Allah that he creates an opening for the people of Libya. Ameen.
     
    7th April – Extending a helping hand
     
    We reached Matrooh at 7 in the morning. At 11.30 am, we had arranged for the emergency supplies to be delivered to where we were staying. Upon arrival, we loaded them on to the truck and set off towards the border town of Sallum. Due to an increase in casualties, there were now many government aid agencies trying to deliver aid, so we had to wait for a short while.

    As soon as we crossed the border, we hit a town called Musaid. Our convoy of goods was then transferred to another set of vehicles and we headed for Benghazi. Due to the security issues however, we were advised not to travel to Benghazi at night, so we spent the night in Tubruq, some 500 kilometres from Benghazi. We left straight after the Fajr prayer at 6 am and arrived at the Al Jalah hospital in Benghazi at 12 noon.

    We met with the health officials and offloaded the relief supplies in the centre of Benghazi. The circumstances faced by these brave Libyans is so difficult at the moment. These relief supplies were the very minimum we could provide.

    May Allah accept the efforts of our UK donors, but we ask that they continue to open their hearts for our brothers and sisters in Libya, as the situation is continually deteriorating.

    6th April - Preparation
     
    We set off early in the morning to buy much needed medical goods and equipment for the suffering Muslims of Libya. After spending most of the day at the medical supply wholesalers, we returned back to base at around 6pm.

    Our transport got delayed slightly, so we ended up setting off towards the border town of Matrooh at about 11pm.

    30th March - Oppression

    We met a doctor who told us that every call in Libya is currently monitored. Generally we were told that calls were not allowed to go beyond one minute due to the tracking methods undertaken by Gaddafi’s militia.

    One harrowing example we heard was of a gynaecologist in Tripoli who received a call lasting a while. As she described the situation, militia rushed in and arrested her and her colleague, another doctor. Both of them have not been seen since.

    Even more devastating was the story of a pregnant doctor. Her calls from abroad were tracked and she was duly arrested. She later died giving birth under incarceration.

    The stories are endless, the tears insufficient.

    27th March - Adjabiya

    We set off late in the morning towards Ajdabiya, which had fallen to the revolutionists the day before. Communications were down however and there were security concerns, but Alhamdulillah we pressed on to assess the medical needs.

    We went straight to the main hospital known as ‘Ajdabiya Emergency Unit’. The locals told us that the hospital had its water supply cut off as the Gaddafi Militia retreated. Huge craters in the building showed that it’d also been heavily shelled.

    The hospital displayed pictures of innocent people murdered by the militia. Where there were no pictures, names were put up.

    Some 25km from Ajdabiya, is an area called Baydhan. It is a desert plain which was used by the refugees fleeing the fighting from Ajdabiya. Many had now returned after hearing that the revolutionist had seized Adjabiya. Those still in the desert however, were living in appalling conditions.

    26th March - Jalaa Hospital

    Benghazi Medical Centre was our first port of call. It’s the largest hospital in the city. Alhamdulillah, the hospital is relatively new and has lots of modern facilities.

    The current conflict has seen the majority of the staff leave the hospital and flee the country. Since the hospital was a joint venture between the Libyan and French governments, the majority of its staff was foreign. They hastily left once the security situation became untenable. Many emergency patients were repeatedly turned down because the place was so undermanned.

    We were given a tour of the hospital and were shown pro-Gaddafi fighters who had been captured by the rebels. In accordance with the principles of Islam, these fighters were being looked after in the best possible manner.

    Later in the day, we toured Jalaa Hospital in Benghazi. The majority of those injured in the war were kept here. Nothing would prepare us for what we saw here. The oppression and suffering these Libyans have faced really overwhelmed us.

    We visited the ‘Serious Burns Unit’ in which we saw a man who, following an explosion, had major burns from head to toe. Covered in bandages, he was unrecognisable. He couldn’t speak, and couldn’t move. Sadly, there was no family in Benghazi to tend to him.

    We saw men whose faces had been completely disfigured and had major burns from head to toe. I have never witnessed casualties of war; the scenes were truly shocking to behold. I really pray to Allah ‘azza wa jal that he brings this conflict to an end and brings a just and noble ruler to these unfortunate people.

    Later on we had a meeting with the Director of the hospital. He explained how foreign aid workers can benefit the Libyans during this crisis. We were also has the opportunity to meet the person in charge of the relief efforts and aid storage centres. He aired his frustrations at aid agencies and charities that were reluctant to work inside Libya.

    Today was also the day the city of Ajdabiya fell to the rebels. We were deeply disturbed to learn from the head of relief operations that hospitals were being targeted by government forces. We heard reports that many homes were also shelled. Over 3000 families had fled the fighting and settled in makeshift camps between Ajdabiya and Tobruk.

    The stories of oppression and injustice meted out by Gaddafi’s fighters were many. Many of the accounts we heard were horrific and cannot be written here.  

    One story we heard was of a father who wanted to flee the fighting in Ajdabiya with his wife and children. Gaddafi forces prevented them from leaving unless they left the wife with them. The husband pleaded for mercy, asking, “Do you not have any one called Muhammad or Abu Bakr amongst you? How can I leave my family with you?” They insisted and said, “If not your wife, then leave your child?” The father was forced to leave his young son behind as the rest of the family fled. He returned some days later to collect his son from the same check point. Seeing his son missing, he asked for his whereabouts and was told that he was not here. The Gaddafi militia just ignored the father and kept on saying to him, “We don’t know what you are talking about!”

    Only a father who has lost a son in such a way can understand the anguish and pain this Libyan father went through. That story was one of countless from people who had experiences even worse than this.

    Only to Allah we complain of the Dhulm (oppression) of the oppressors.

    At the Red Crescent distribution centre, the person in charge said there was a need for aid and medical supplies. The staff themselves said the thing they needed most was powdered milk and nappies for children. In terms of food they said they were coping well at this moment in time.

    25th March - Benghazi

    After 16 hours of travel we arrived at the infamous port city of Benghazi.

    After some food, we made our way to Tahrir Square in the heart of the city. The square was brimming with thousands of people celebrating their independence from the Gaddafi regime.

    The square - also known as the ‘court square’ - was used as a memorial by families who had lost loved ones in the current conflict. Pictures of those killed by the regime peppered the walls of the square.

    After offering ‘Isha salah, we went to the medical warehouse to discuss what would be needed. The warehouse staff are administrating all the medical work currently being undertaken in the rebel controlled territories.

    Our meeting was with Dr Abdullah. We asked him what was required in the hospitals and field clinics in rebel-held Libya. Inshallah, he will produce a list for us tomorrow of what medicines are needed.

    He went on to explain about how far his office is spreading its operations. From Ajdabiya, Tobruk, Darnah to Misrata and Marj al Jadeed: medical supplies are being sent to all of East Libya.

    24th March – Entering Libya

    Most aid agencies and charities have chosen not to work inside Libya. Alhamdulillah, UWT - with the support of its donors - are one of very few global charities who were ready to undertake relief efforts inside this beleaguered country.

    We entered Libya from the Egyptian border in the morning.
    Alhamdulillah the trip across went smoothly. On entry, before we could continue, we did have to wait around for 1 or 2 hours for things to fall into place. Not surprising, given that there’s no central authority in the country at the moment.
    We had several meetings with medical officials discussing the distribution of medical supplies. Alhamdulillah, most of the medics were content with the supplies they currently had. However, there is a need for nappies, milk powder, rice, pasta and flour and other food essentials that are part of the staple diet in Libya. There are concerns that, at the current rate, food reserves will run out by the middle of April.

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