A SCOTTISH student is set to drive an ambulance to the Egypt-Gaza border to provide medical relief and to help evacuate civilians from Gaza.

On March 21, Umran Ali Javaid, a mature student at Glasgow Caledonian University, will set off from Glasgow in a second-hand ambulance equipped with a portable neonatal ventilator, providing breathing support for ill babies.

Travelling for “about six to seven days” to reach the Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza, his journey will see him take a ferry from Dover to France before travelling through Europe.

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It is not the first time the international tourism and events student, who did not wish to share his age, has undertaken such a journey, as he personally drove another ambulance to the Polish-Ukrainian border to help refugees fleeing the Russian invasion in March 2022.

The journey to Gaza will see him deliver his 41st ambulance for humanitarian aid, some of which he has delivered by himself, and others he has delivered with friends.

READ MORE: National demonstration calling for permanent ceasefire in Gaza to be held in Glasgow

“The ambulances I take save lives and that’s why I continue doing this,” Javaid said.

“Ambulances are a good way to evacuate civilians from danger zones as it gives the injured temporary medical relief – they also have distinct markings, signs and sirens which makes them easier to identify.

“During the five-day ceasefire in Gaza, a journalist saw babies (in the hospital) in their mothers’ arms passing away due to hunger as there were no portable ventilators and they could not be evacuated.

“The new ambulance I bought is kind of more of a high dependency unit to support the lives of infants – it could be used for decades if it’s not bombed or shot.

“The ambulances I delivered to Ukraine only had basic equipment like defibrillators but the recent ones are better equipped to save lives.”

Javaid said he is expecting a greater challenge in taking an ambulance to Gaza than he faced journeying to Ukraine because nearby Poland had been “very accommodating” with a “clear structure of bringing in aid”.

“The first time I went to the Gaza Strip, I was the driver for a convoy and didn’t know what I was doing but saw the difference ambulances make in saving lives,” said Javaid, who will be visiting Gaza for a third time.

READ MORE: Israel confirms plans to expand military operation into Rafah

“When the Ukraine war happened I was there during the first couple of weeks and there were thousands of people needing help and seeing children and mothers in pain stayed with me,” said Javaid.

The five-month-old war that was triggered by Hamas’s October 7 attack in southern Israel has killed more than 31,000 Palestinians and driven some 85% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people from their homes.

The UN says a quarter of the population is starving.

The militant attack that sparked the conflict killed around 1200 people and saw some 250 taken hostage.

With an approval from COGAT (Co-ordination of Government Activities in the Territories) in Israel and the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Javaid would be handing over the ambulance to UN agency UNRWA, the largest humanitarian organisation working inside Gaza.

“I know I can make a difference since I have been doing this for a while and have experience,” he added.

As Javaid moves towards the conclusion of his studies, he plans to start an events company and use the profits to provide humanitarian aid.

“I started studying so that I can organise my own events,” he said.

“This is still in the planning stage but I will organise a big event/festival for families for thousands of people.

“It will be my own business however the profit I make, a part of that will help me buy ambulances on a larger scale. I will donate ambulances to UK care homes and donate them abroad too.”