Why we should assist – and be taught from – refugees this Ramadan | Refugees


This Ramadan is in contrast to some other in residing reminiscence. Throughout the Muslim world, mosques stand empty, iftar meals are unusually quiet affairs and the joyful social gatherings that usually mark the Holy Month have been deserted as we grapple with a worldwide well being emergency.

For a lot of households, these disconcerting occasions have been made worse by the dire financial influence of the pandemic. Companies and livelihoods have been broken or misplaced, main many to query how they may cope throughout this era and past.

For hundreds of thousands of Muslims displaced from their houses or international locations by battle and instability, the present disaster has compounded their struggling. Their well being is threatened by an invisible menace they’re poorly outfitted to deal with, with refugees and displaced folks typically residing in crowded situations and missing ample entry to water, sanitation and well being providers.

The sudden collapse of informal labour markets attributable to restrictions on motion has had a disproportionate impact on the poorest in society, together with the displaced. With no financial savings to fall again on, many are going through destitution and taking determined measures to outlive.

My colleagues within the UNHCR, the UN refugee company, who’re engaged on the entrance traces of the COVID-19 disaster, report many worrying traits. Giant numbers of refugees and displaced folks unable to afford hire are going through the specter of eviction, whereas others resort to skipping meals or going with out remedy because of a scarcity of funds.

But regardless of the horrifying and unfamiliar circumstances we discover ourselves in, the values of compassion and giving that Ramadan represents have come to the fore. Although bodily separated, the devoted are coming collectively in spirit to offer much-needed help and non secular consolation to their Muslim brothers and sisters.

This yr’s UNHCR Ramadan fundraising marketing campaign, Each Present Counts, is heading in the right direction to generate document assist, with greater than $4m raised in particular person donations as we enter the final week of Ramadan.

The funds raised will permit UNHCR to fulfill a number of the most urgent wants attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic by offering important assist comparable to shelter, meals, clear water and money help to probably the most weak refugee and displaced populations.

In lots of components of the world, in the meantime, refugees themselves are doing what they will to assist others by the disaster. From the Syrian refugees delivering meals and operating errands for weak locals in Switzerland, to the Afghan refugees in Malaysia making protecting tools for front-line well being staff, they embody the spirit of collective motion wanted to fulfill this world problem.

Take Huda, a Syrian widow who has spent the final 5 years in a refugee settlement in Lebanon together with her kids. Regardless of residing in excessive poverty and having to borrow cash to outlive, this Ramadan she is taking what little she has and cooking giant meals to share together with her neighbours to assist them have fun the Holy Month.

The pandemic has introduced nice loss and hardship, nevertheless it has additionally spurred acts of kindness and compassion and seen many people rethink what is actually necessary in our lives. These moments of generosity and non secular reflection characterize the core values of Ramadan and present us that even throughout a disaster, there is a chance for progress and self-improvement.

This Ramadan, most of the world’s Muslims discover themselves having to regulate to a brand new actuality, when they could be stranded away from house or separated from their mates and family members. However there may be a lot that may be discovered from the expertise of refugees, for whom this has been the norm for years and even a long time.

Their resilience and braveness within the face of adversity. Their devotion to household and mates. Their intuition to look out for these much less lucky than themselves – as illustrated by the way in which so many have contributed to the response to coronavirus.

As we fear about once we may be reunited with our family and friends, and resume our regular lives, it’s value remembering that these displaced by battle, violence and persecution are confronted with these uncertainties, and lots of extra, day-after-day. The grace and fortitude with which they reply may be an inspiration to us all.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.



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