GARDERMOEN (Dagbladet): On Monday evening, a Norwegian plane with 114 Norwegian citizens evacuated from Gaza landed at Gardermoen.
Waqar Tahir Dar (41) was in place at Gardermoen. He has become involved in the fight to get the Norwegian citizens home.
– I have hayrt about the Palestinian people since I was a little boy and about the cruel conditions they have had to live under for many decades, says Waqar Tahir Dar.
Dagbladet meets him while he is waiting for the group coming from Cairo.
Ask for the invoice
When he heard that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would not cover the return journey for the Norwegians stranded in Gaza, he got the idea to collect money.
Now he has started a Spleis to cover the return journey for “Palestinian” Norwegians. “None of the evacuees from Gaza should pay for evacuation themselves,” he writes in Spleisen.
He will ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to invoice him for all the evacuees.
Dar tells Dagbladet that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not answered him whether they can send him a combined invoice for the deductible for the evacuated Norwegians.
– I am a little disappointed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I have asked them if they can attach my email address when they send out the invoice, but I have not received a reply, says Dar.
Didn’t hear anything
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ press contact, Mariken Bruusgaard Harbitz, informs Dagbladet that they have not been in contact with Tahir Dar, who leads the splicing.
Dagbladet has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if it is possible to send such a consolidated invoice directly to Dar. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not responded to that.
If it is not possible for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send a collective invoice, Dar will contact each individual who has been evacuated and pay their invoice.
Dar says that many people have turned up at Gardermoen waiting for their family.
– I have spoken to many here, and spread the message that when they receive the invoice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they know where to turn. We spread the word – that when the invoice arrives, they can contact me, says Dar.
He created the splice last Thursday. In five days, NOK 1.3 million is received.
– Soon we can cover the journey home for everyone, says Dar.
Heard a lot about Palestine
He himself grew up in Norway, but has family from Pakistan.
– My grandfather told me about the Palestinians. Ever since I was a little boy, I have seen the pictures of little Palestinian boys throwing stones at tanks. There are images that have stuck in my head and I heard slogans like “free Palestine”. It is a long and sad story, he believes.
On Monday, flight number two landed with Norwegians who are allowed to return home from Gaza.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap) was present when the first plane with Norwegians landed on Saturday, after the war between Israel and Hamas broke out. He then stated that it is standard procedure for evacuated Norwegians to foot the bill themselves.
Dar has previously stated to Dagbladet that he is disappointed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot make an exception.
– It is a fundamental principle in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ assistance to Norwegian citizens abroad that the individual is responsible for covering expenses themselves, writes press contact at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mariken Harbitz, in an e-mail to Dagbladet.
– Return to Norway will cost NOK 6,500 for adults and NOK 1,500 for children aged 2-18. Children under the age of two travel for free. The price includes visa, border crossing in Gaza, bus to Cairo, hotel in Cairo, food, emergency passport and flight home. The traveler will be asked for reimbursement of expenses after the trip.
If you do not have the funds, you can ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a loan – a so-called emergency loan. These loans are processed continuously, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.