International Day of Peace 21st September, 2016
On the International Day of Peace, our thoughts instantly turn to the numerous conflicts being waged across the world, the many families who are suffering, the millions who have been killed and the countless number of men, women and children fleeing for their lives, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and continents on the other side of the globe.
Moments of peace which shine a light so pure that it restores our faith in humanity, warms our hearts and reminds us of the concept of universal brotherhood. Moments of peace, which one-by-one we hope will lead to a world free of conflict, Insha’Allah.
In the past few days we have distributed thousands of food hampers packed with nutritional meat in the form of Qurbani to families in desperate need. We distributed in some of the most difficult to reach areas such as in Aleppo, Syria, providing families in the centre of a war zone a moment of peace, love, joy and affection.
On a daily basis our Birth Clinic in Jordan is providing expectant Syrian women with maternal healthcare. Covering all the medical costs required to ensure that a woman can give birth safely, with dignity and without having to worry about the financial burden that comes with a new baby. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be parents will easily understand the moment of blissful peace emanating from a sleeping new-born. Innocent, pure, clueless to the affairs of the world and a gift from Allah.
Around the world we see many battles taking place, started by disputes between neighbours, brothers and followers of the same faith. We hear of the unfortunate stories where families are torn apart and children are left orphaned. Statistically a child becomes an orphan every 20 seconds and it’s estimated that there are over 150 million orphan children world-wide.
Often because of the circumstances that these children live and grow up in, they feel neglected, pushed to the side and worthless. We wanted to change this, we wanted to remind the orphans that we look after at Islamic Help that they are part of a much bigger family, that they have people who love them and care for them, that they are part of something special. So as well as looking after them throughout the year, we launched our Umrah for Orphans programme, where we take Palestinian refugee orphans on the blessed journey.
Once in the holy city of Makkah, they see first-hand that they are part of a gigantic, multi-cultural, ethnically diverse family who see them, the orphan children as royalty. And then when they visit The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the city of Madinah, they find peace again in the knowledge that they have one of the strongest bonds possible with the most perfect creation of Allah.
Not only does this journey of Umrah provide the orphan children one of their first experiences abroad to another country but it also provides them with a moment of tranquillity, a moment of peace and an everlasting motivation to spread it throughout the world. It reminds them that they are part of a larger family, humanity.