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Muslims Rally Aid for Syrian Refugees

Published: 17/01/2013 05:18:27 PM GMT
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window.addEvent( domready ,function(){var s = warnflashavreloaded0 ; if ($(s)){$(s).setOpacity(1);}}); (more)CAIRO - In an effort to alleviate their misery, Muslims from around the world are rallying to send humanitarian aid to thousands of Syrian refugees shivering in freezing temperature.“Every day I'm thinner than the day befo (more)

CAIRO - In an effort to alleviate their misery, Muslims from around the world are rallying to send humanitarian aid to thousands of Syrian refugees shivering in freezing temperature.

“Every day I'm thinner than the day before and my mind is more preoccupied,” Iman Qardah, 30, a Syrian mother of five, told The New York Times.“I used to not sleep because of the missiles. Now I don't sleep because I'm worried about my kids constantly.”

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Thousands of Syrian refugees have been leading a miserable life in the Zaatari camp in Jordan near borders with Syria.

A winter storm that ravaged the eastern Mediterranean last week has worsened the misery of Syrians, who fled 21 months of fighting between President Bashar Al-Assad forces and opponents in their country.

Seeking to ease their plight, Muslims have allocated millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, has allocated 10 million dollars in aid for Syrian refugees in the Jordanian kingdom.

The first shipment of supplies, including blankets, covers and mattresses, has already been dispatched, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.

The United Arab Emirates also dispatched $5 million in emergency aid to the helpless refugees in Jordan.

Qatar also sent 38 tons of tents, blankets, clothes and heaters in urgent aid to the Syrian refugees.

There are more than 290,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan and hundreds are crossing the border into the kingdom on a daily basis.

On Sunday, Lebanon appealed to the Arab world to provide help to alleviate the suffering of thousands of Syrian refugees on the Lebanese soil.

“The situation has become worrisome and stressful on a large scale especially as the government's plan was designed based on the presence of 200,000 refugees while the number, I think, has surpassed 200,000,” Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour told a ministerial meeting of the Arab League called to discuss the situation of Syrian refugees.

"The numbers are expected to rise, throwing a heavy burden on the Lebanese state in terms of economic pressure.”

At least 60,000 people have been killed in more than 21 months of fighting between President Bashar Al-Assad's security forces and the opposition.

The UN has predicted the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries will double to 1.1 million by June if the civil war does not end by then.

Muslim Compassion

Campaigns have also been launched in several Muslim countries to send aid to Syrians caught in the deadly conflict in their country.

“The tragedy in Syria belongs not only to Muslims; it is a common tragedy of humanity,” Mehmet Gormez, head of the religious affairs directorate, told SETimes.

Themed “Winter Came, Bread and a Blanket for Syria”, the campaign aims to fill the shortages of water and electricity of those still in Syria.

“They have no wheat, no farina, no fuel to make the bakeries operate,” Turkish Red Crescent head Ahmet Lutfu Akar said.

“So, this new campaign is of utmost importance and meaningful for two reasons: to make it alive the hopes of needy Syrian people to survive and to sustain our previous efforts to help Syrian people.”

The campaign has won support among Turks, including government officials as Gormez and Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, who have donated a month's salary to aid Syrians.

The campaign has also found support among Muslims in the Balkans.

In Macedonia, nearly 25 NGOs have joined the campaign to provide aid to the Syrians.

“We are also people that have experienced torture on our own skin and we are well aware of the significance of the solidarity,” Jasmin Redzepi, a spokesman for the NGO Legis, told SETimes.

“So we can't remain still and be satisfied with a polite expression of regret.”

The participating NGOs are part of the World Union of Islamic Organizations, which includes 217 organizations.

“Our purpose, first of all, is to affirm this issue, to inform the citizens of the condition of Syrian people and the refugees [and] to inform the people in Macedonia how they can help,” Redzepi said.

NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina have also joined efforts to help Syrians in distress.

“In comparison with Turkey, where politicians donate their wages to humanitarian campaigns, the level of awareness of politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina is undoubtedly far from that,” Zemira Gorinjac, the president of the Solidarity association, told SETimes.

“Our greatest donors are unquestionably our citizens, mostly those with minimal wages, but with compassion for others.”

Muslims hope that their effort would bring new hopes of a better future for the Syrians.

“We ought to remember the war in BiH destroyed homes, humanitarian aid and our refugee lives. Others have given us a hope for a better tomorrow and made our difficult days better with their donations,” Gorinjac said.

“Now we should be the ones who give to the Syrian people a hope that they are not forgotten, that in this world there is still grace and goodness.”

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