(UR) Since the beginning of Ramadan, refugees and others Muslims have taken to social media to raise awareness about the plight of their Syrian brothers and sisters, and are calling upon others to donate money and food for the Islamic holy month.
Facebook pages like Mersalk are mobilizing support among Arabic speakers — “Help us help more than 125,000 people in Syria in this special campaign for the holy month of Ramadan, which includes a series of different products,” said one post.
With images of starving Syrians under siege, which horrified the masses a few months ago, still fresh in people’s minds, calls for zakat came earlier this year. More than 400,000 suffer from malnutrition and as a recent World Food Programme survey found, 79 percent of households in besieged areas are struggling to acquire food.
Ramadan is a time for self-reflection, devotion, and giving for more than a billion Muslims all over the world. People fast during the day, as a sign of abstention from bodily delights, until sundown when they break their fast with a prayer and meal, or iftar. Alms-giving orzakat is also an important part of Ramadan, and one of the five pillars of Islam whereby Muslims are to give part of their wealth with those less fortunate than themselves.
Charity organizations like Khayr and JustGiving are also leading efforts to raise money for the war-torn country.
“This is part of my zakat. Please help people in Aleppo,” said one donor on JustGiving.
“I would like to donate the entire amount for food supplies as I’m unable to fast the month of Ramadan,” commented another anonymous user.
One Nation has likewise launched a Ramadan Iftar Appeal with the “aim to help the most needy in the hardest-to-reach besieged areas, those who have been forgotten and to whom aid doesn’t come as readily.” The World Food Programme’s ShareTheMeal app also allows users to feed Syrian refugee children with a simple click of a button.
But donations are not coming exclusively from Muslims either.
As one donor said on the Hand In Hand For Syria appeal: “Donated for my newborn nephew Daniel and his Syrian Mum Hala who are safe in London and hoping this helps those in Syria who are praying for peace.”
Another couple set up their own appeal on JustGiving, saying, “NO wedding presents thank you but please give generously to this very important cause.”
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