In the Name of Allah, We are Heading for Gaza

(From left] Rijal Abdul Latif, Nur Ikhwan Abadi, Jafar Shidqi Al Mubarok while in Turkiye on April 16 2024. (Photo: Nurhadis/MINA)

By: Arina Islami, Public Relations of Aqsa Working Group (AWG)

April 21 2024, three volunteers from the Palestinian organization Aqsa Working Group (AWG) will break through the blockade of Gaza in the humanitarian action of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC). The three are Nur Ikhwan Abadi, Jafar Shidqi Al Mubarok, and Rijal Abdul Latif. They will sail from Turkiye using the ships Akdeniz and Anadolu.

This world peace mission through the FFC fleet is a continuation program of the Mavi Marmara from Turkiye which sailed in 2010 and was then attacked by Israel in the Mediterranean Sea, resulting in at least 10 people being martyred. Nur Ikhwan Abadi was one of the activists who survived the attack by the Zionist army during the mission.

Mavi Marmara Flashback

In the middle of the journey, precisely at dawn, Friday May 31, 2010, the Israeli navy stopped the Mavi Marmara ship, even though the ship’s position at that time was still in international waters. Israeli soldiers then entered the ship and opened fire on the volunteers, nine people died on the spot, while 189 others were injured.

“We had already entered when we were only a few miles away from Gaza, we were intercepted by the Israeli army and our position was still in international waters. “So actually Israel doesn’t have the right to attack us because our position is still international,” said Nur Ikhwan in the Serambi Spotlight Podcast which was broadcast live on the YouTube channel on Thursday.

When they were intercepted by Israeli soldiers, the Mavi Marmara ship they were on then turned back towards Antalya, this was done to avoid causing casualties.

However, this choice did not produce results. Israeli soldiers are still chasing the Mavi Marmara ship using a speed boat, they are also trying to get into the ship. The volunteers, who were carrying out morning prayers at that time, then struggled to thwart the actions of Israeli soldiers who wanted to board the ship.

“The Israelis came using a speed boat, they tried to enter from below but they couldn’t, we tried to douse them with water so they couldn’t get up,” said Nur Ikhwan.

Even though they failed to board the Mavi Marmara ship, the Israeli army did not run out of methods. They actually used a helicopter to get into the ship. Israeli soldiers one by one got off the helicopter using ropes.

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Israel then opened fire indiscriminately at the volunteers. “Nine people died on the spot, there was one volunteer who was shot using bullets which were prohibited from using dumdum bullets, he was shot in the head right in the forehead resulting in a small wound but when it entered him (the bullet) exploded. “Then one of the MER-C volunteers held his head which was full of brains until he died. There was also a boy who was just in high school named Furqan who was shot in four parts in the chest and neck at close range,” said Nur Ikhwan.

What is listed above is only a small part of Zionist crimes against the 2010 Mavi Marmara volunteers. However, the deadly challenges they faced did not deter Nur Ikhwan’s intentions.

This year, he bravely returned to take part in a similar humanitarian mission, breaking through the Gaza blockade to distribute humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people together with 1,500 other volunteers from various countries.

First Trip of Two AWG Volunteers to Gaza

Apart from Nur Ikhwan, the Aqsa Working Group (AWG) also sent two young personnel, namely Jafar Shidqi Al Mubarok (23) and Rijal Abdul Latif (28). Both of them were heading to Gaza for the first time. This has been a tense and proud journey for both of them. Rijal and Jafar flew to Turkiye on Monday (15/4/2024), following Nur Ikhwan who had already arrived there.

Rijal left behind his first child who was just born 15 days ago. Of course, this is not an easy choice. In layman’s logic, which “good” father would “have the heart” to leave his red child with his wife who was still in the postpartum period? Rijal admitted that he was sad and had a heavy heart to leave his family. Because going to Gaza is as if you are going to the “gates of death.” We don’t know whether we will come back with a complete body or just a name.

“My feelings when I was entrusted to go to Gaza were mixed between yes or no because my wife had just given birth a few days ago, but when I met Ustaz Amin Nuroni he gave me advice, ‘human doom has been written in Lauhul Mahfuz, in Gaza or even in Indonesia, the times have not changed. And we believe as Muslims, that we fellow Muslims are like one body, where if one is sick the others also feel it.’Hopefully, this will be a source of comfort for our brothers and sisters in Palestine,” said Rijal.

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That’s the struggle, it’s not easy and will never be easy. Fear and worry must be defeated with strong intentions and belief that Allah will take care of his children and wife with perfect care.

“This is my first child. In fact, I asked my wife from the start of marriage, because I had the intention of going to Gaza, my wife said, God willing, I would be ready if it had to be like that,”he continued. Apart from Rijal’s struggle for Palestine, his wife’s sincerity is also worthy of appreciation.

Even though, his wife was happy to let Rijal go, that was not the case with his in-laws. Various doubts were raised. “How is your family? Try to think again,” said Rijal, giving an example of his father-in-law’s question. Of course, this is a human question from parents who see their child has just given birth. It is difficult for ordinary people like us to accept the answer that this is a call to jihad, the struggle for humanity and Al-Aqsa, the struggle for the religion of Allah.

“The first thing I prepare is my intention, because if the intention is wrong it will definitely be in vain. “As for human fear, there must be, but I believe that even though there are not many of us from Indonesia, we are sure that there are millions of prayers that will accompany us on our journey,” said Rijal.

Not much different from Rijal, Jafar Shidqi Al Mubarok also admitted that he was anxious and afraid when he was assigned to Gaza. Moreover, the situation in Palestine and the Middle East in general is heating up. He was also worried about the language and the terrain he would traverse there. However, again, these fears are only small ripples that are easily dispelled. All this “overthinking” was unable to extinguish the spirit of jihad within him.

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“When we left for Turkiye, there was joy and happiness, of course there was tension too. Glad we were given the opportunity to go because not everyone has that opportunity. Then we were tense because this was our first flight out of the country so we had a lot to worry about, starting with the language, the place and the terrain we would be traveling through. “Humanly, I clearly feel afraid and worried because this time the Middle East is heating up, especially in Palestine itself,” said Jafar.

He said that his parents gave their blessing for him to go on this FFC humanitarian mission. “For parents to allow and allow, it’s just that parents must have messages and advice that are conveyed to their children to maintain their speech and attitude while in someone else’s country, even in their own country, because we don’t know what a person’s character is like and we should always be careful.” heart and hope you are safe and healthy until you reach your destination. “That’s what my parents told me when they asked him for permission,” said Jafar.

Becoming a humanitarian activist, especially to penetrate Gaza, is not an easy struggle, especially at a young age. While other young men were busy making worldly dreams, these two men chose to serve Palestine.

They carry the name of Indonesia, making their country proud on the international stage. There is nothing we should give other than endless support, through anything, in any way; prayers, donations, spreading news about the FFC mission, carrying out peaceful demonstrations, enlivening social media with posts about this action, and so on.

Let’s raise our hands and say a long prayer for all FFC activists so that the humanitarian mission carried out for Gaza can be successful and everyone can return to Indonesia safe, healthy and well, complete, without missing anything.

Bismillah, Indonesia penetrates Gaza!


Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)