This Eid, may your homes be filled with loved ones, your tables laden with delicious dishes and desserts, may your walls echo laughter and happiness; a day of celebration. However, this Eid will be one full of sadness and worry for our Muslim brothers and sisters from Syria, known as ‘refugees’ to the world, though they are like us, with hopes and dreams for their loved ones and family. They are extraordinary human beings, many whom have taken life threatening measures to reach safety for the sake of their families and have not given up their hope in humanity and in their faith. They prostrate to Allah (swt) as they reach the shores of their destination safely, though their future is still uncertain and they still have so many more borders to cross. They raise their hands and pray for their Ummah, the Ummah that will not abandon them in their time of need. The Ummah that is you and me and us all. It now up to us as an Ummah to help and assist them all.
On 3rd October 2015, a team of volunteers, led by our team leader will be visiting the Greek Island of Lesvos to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to the refugees. UNHCR estimates that refugee arrivals will surge in the month of October, coinciding with heavy rains and cold weather on the island which will cause a greater humanitarian crisis. This is the major humanitarian crisis of our time where generations of people will look back and ask us: ‘What did you do to help our fellow brothers and sisters?’. It will be the topic of learning in History, a school project that your child or grandchild will ask - What did you do to help? Now is the opportunity to assist the refugees by donating to and assisting our aid and distribution team in Lesvos.
As you tuck your child into bed knowing that they will wake up, warm, well fed and loved, going to school and playing with their friends the next day, a Syrian child sleeps on the ground or on a shaky boat; if they arrive safely they hold the prospect of a cold and hungry long walk. Our team, with your generous donations will be assisting some of these refugees who enter into Lesvos.
One of the products that our team will distribute is sleeping bags, which will provide some warmth and comfort to those refugees who are tired and weary, on the road, walking miles to borders of countries, often unwelcome and turned away. Another product our team will distribute is water purification tablets to so families have access to clean water and keep hydrated during their difficult travels on the road. Furthermore, high energy biscuits will be distributed to provide energy and strength to the tired and hungry refugees. In addition, waste disposal bags and toilet kits will be given out because the refugees do not have the luxury of accessing bathrooms - a basic human right. Our aid pack can be seen below.
Our aid and distribution team will first focus their efforts in delivering the above aid packs to the refugees. Their second objective is to assist refugees and ease their plight by providing them with information and answering any questions they may have. Furthermore, we are researching and hope to develop long term initiatives to assist the refugees and our team leader will create a detailed assessment and plan. As one refugee said poignantly ‘most children in Syria don’t have a dream, they just don’t want people to shoot them anymore’.
Please help us to assist these refugees, our Muslim brothers and sisters by donating to The World Federation's Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal. By donating just £25 you will be able to assist an individual refugee for a month.
The lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi was not the first nor sadly could it be the last body of a Syrian who struggled to reach to safety and with the hope a new life if we as Muslims brothers and sisters, an Ummah and even a nation of humans, do not intervene. Let this Eid not be the only day when a human life was saved; rather, let it be the beginning and to continue to reflect our religious beliefs in humanity. As the Quran states, in Surah 5 verse 32 “if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.” May this teaching, be our banner, our way of life.