Sail 4 Syria Update


Maria, Simon and Rumi on shore

Paul, who also made the video of Maria and Simon’s departure which can be seen here, went down to Gravesend on Saturday 19th July and has kindly provided us with a short report (with photographs) about how they’ve been getting on:

“Maria and Simon spent the whole of last week at Gravesend Sailing Club.
The club’s hospitality and help was way beyond the call of duty. Maria
and Simon were allowed to sleep inside the club house and members of the
club repaired and configured the boat to make it fit for the journey.
Apparently, after hauling the boat out of the water, four holes in the
hull were discovered. The sailing club members made all of the necessary
repairs for free. There was also lots of advice on how to proceed with
their adventure in probably the most amazingly sociable and friendly
place you could imagine. As well as helping with the boat repairs and
making preparations for the next stage of the journey, Maria and Simon
also pitched in at the club house doing cooking, cleaning and lots of
tea making. I was certainly carrying a few extra pounds when I left
after munching my way through sausage, egg and beans and a huge lentil
curry. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to find out about the
people at the club. But I got photos of Mike and Colin who were part of
the team helping out with the boat. Maria and Simon have also promised
to go back and give a talk about their journey upon their return.
Weather permitting, Maria and Simon should have set sail again at 7am on
Sunday (20th July).”


Thank you to everyone at Gravesend Sailing Club for supporting Maria, Simon and Sail 4 Syria. We look forward to sharing more news of their voyage as it develops.

In peace,



Colin and Maria

Please ‘like’ Sail4Syria on Facebook for more frequent updates about Simon and Maria’s journey (and far more pictures).

Sail 4 Syria updated departure details

Update: Sunday 13th July 2014

Maria and Simon set off from central London on their Sail 4 Syria odyssey to Lebanon yesterday afternoon.

After spending last night in South Dock in Rotherhithe, this afternoon they will continue eastwards past the Thames flood barrier in Woolwich.

Please support Maria and Simon in any way you can, such as by making a donation to Sail 4 Syria and/or the Syrian Eyes appeal.

Maria and Simon row off down the Thames from central London, 12 July 2014 - Image (c) 2014 D. Viesnik / Syria Peace & Justice)

Maria and Simon row off down the Thames from central London, 12 July 2014 – Image (c) 2014 D. Viesnik / Syria Peace & Justice)

*** More photos from Saturday’s departure from central London: ***

Click here for a link to a video featuring interviews with Maria and some other Syria Peace & Justice group members.

#Sail4Syria supporters gather on the South Bank of the river Thames in central London on 12th July 2014. Credit: Syria Peace & Justice.

Syria Solidarity activists to sail from London to Beirut

 Sail4Syria duo to depart from the shore of the Thames at The South Bank (the beach next to Gabriel’s Wharf), London, Saturday 12th July 2014 at 3 p.m. (click here for map)
On Saturday 12th July, following several months of preparations, two peace activists, Maria Gallastegui and Simon Moore, will embark on a sailing voyage of over 3500 miles from London to Beirut, Lebanon.  This action is in solidarity with the people of Syria. They will travel aboard ‘Rumi‘: a 16-foot Wayfarer dinghy.
Maria Gallestegui on board 'Rumi'.  Sail designed and painted by artist Helyn Gulley.

Maria Gallestegui on board ‘Rumi’. Sail designed and painted by artist Helyn Gulley.

The aims of Sail4Syria (S4S), which is a project of London-based Syria Peace & Justice (SPJ) are as follows: [1]·
  • To show solidarity with people whose lives have been torn apart by the crisis in Syria, including those still living in war zones and besieged areas and the more than 2.5 million refugees dispersed mainly around neighbouring countries, including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey;·
  • To build networks with and support grassroots organisations and communities inside and outside Syria working to address the serious humanitarian and societal issues created by the crisis, as well as those working non-violently for positive democratic change within Syria; [2]
  • To publicise our call for an end to the fuelling and intensifying of the conflict by various governments including UK, USA, Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudia Arabia and Turkey who have been facilitating the flow of weapons and military equipment into the country to all sides, [3] and without taking their full share of responsibility for the ensuing humanitarian crisis. [4]

SPJ is calling for non-violent action to highlight and challenge the above behaviour and encourage a responsible, compassionate and peaceful approach to the Syria crisis from the international community.

The S4S team is seeking to link up with like-minded groups and individuals as it passes through various cities, towns and villages along its route.

SPJ and S4S will soon be announcing the sponsorship of a children’s activity project for Syrian refugee children, in co-ordination with Syrian Eyes. [2]  This will be published via the Syria Peace & Justice website.

For media enquiries or further information, please contact: syriapeaceandjustice [at]

Tel:  Maria: +44 (0)7907 233 861;  Simon: +44 (0)7963 475 195;  or Dan (UK-based): +44 (0)7506 234 091/ +44 (0)7774 543 818

Notes to editor:

1. Syria Peace & Justice (SPJ) is an open, London-based non-sectarian grassroots group, formed in October 2013. It wishes to promote a peaceful end to the terrible conflict in Syria and justice and human rights for all of its people.

More information about the group and updates on the progress of the Sail4Syria (S4S) voyage can be found at:

2. SPJ and S4S are currently supporting one group called Syrian Eyes, which is made up of mostly young unpaid Syrian refugees who dedicate their time to providing for the needs of the Syrian refugee families in Lebanon.

Syrian Eyes’ main method of communication with the wider world is through their Facebook page. This is mostly written in Arabic, but does allow non-Arabic speakers to see many photos illustrating their activities in Lebanon. Syrian Eyes describes itself thus*:

“Seeks to provide immediate relief assistance to the displaced people in the Syrian refugee camps in the State of brotherly Lebanon, in addition to the establishment of a small development projects to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of these camps as much as possible.
*auto-translation from Arabic;