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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Yorkshire heroes unite: Volunteers spearhead Gaza aid mission

In an extraordinary display of compassion and collaboration, Yorkshire volunteers have embarked on a mission to deliver vital aid directly to Gaza, joining forces with the esteemed charity, Muslims in Need. The initiative, spearheaded by local businessmen Shakeel Faraz and Rashad Khan is a testament to the power of community-driven humanitarianism.

Emergency Appeal Poster.

The journey began with a fortuitous interruption during a meeting between Shakeel Faraz and Rashad Khan, discussing youth social movement throughout Scouting Clubs. A call from Muslims in Need revealed their operational capabilities: trucks entering Gaza, a warehouse in Egypt brimming with essential supplies, and a 100% donation policy that mirrored the duo’s own values.

Inspired by this alignment of purpose, both wasted no time and within days, a dedicated team of over 18 volunteers rallied together, ready to journey to Egypt and then to Gaza, where their efforts would make a tangible difference.

The response from the community has been overwhelming. In just one week, more than £40k was raised through a GoFundMe page, supported by local businesses, mosques, and individuals from all walks of life. The generosity knew no bounds, with contributions pouring in from those deeply moved by the plight of the people in Palestine.

The mission’s 4-day itinerary reflects its comprehensive approach to aid distribution: from packing food parcels at the warehouse to personally delivering zakat to hospital patients, including an Iftar and Eid gifts, every step is guided by a commitment to alleviating suffering and spreading hope.

Importantly, every penny raised is directed towards the cause. Volunteers cover their own expenses, ensuring that not a single donation is diverted for administrative costs. Even gift aid, recovered from the government, finds its way back to those in need. So more than 100% of donations are going to directly to the cause.

But beyond the financial support lies a deeper truth: this mission transcends boundaries of religion and nationality. It is a testament to the universal values of empathy and solidarity, where people of all faiths and none and diverse ethnicities have contributed. Shakeel said: “We have received contributions worth thousands of pounds, but also contributions of £5, for us every contribution is valued, no matter how small. Each contribution holds equal significance.”

Shakeel continues to emphasise: “This endeavour is not about seeking recognition but raising awareness of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. It is about ordinary people coming together to make an extraordinary difference, proving that humanity knows no bounds when united in compassion. Uniting with me and Rashad on this journey are Zulfikar Nazir, Kamar Shazad Rashid, Mohammed Akeel Faraz, Islam Ahmed Chaudar, Abbas Farooq, Fahad Fiaz, Mohammed Kaleem Kabil, Tasawar Iqbal Rehman, Junaid Aurangzeb, Isteaq Ahmed Sabir, Sahid Hussain, Waqas Bashir, Mohammed Matloob Hussain, Choudhry Wasim Bashir, Hamza Zulfikar, Mohammed Hasan Sajid, Shakeel Suleman and Abid Hussain who have given up their time as well as their own money to deliver on this challenging mission”.

The group embark on their mission on 4 April, arriving back in the UK on 9 April.

In the face of adversity, Yorkshire stands as a beacon of hope, proving that collective action can indeed change lives.

Donations are being accepted which include Zakat, Sadaqah, Lillah, Fidya or any other donation no matter how big or small.

For cash donations, contact Shakeel on 07878 234650, 07968 245214 or any one of the above official deployment team members.

If you wish to follow the mission of the 18 volunteers live, then visit Instagram handle @shak_bbtv  or on Snapchat @s5hak

 

GLOSSARY

Zakat: A religious obligation for Muslims to donate a certain proportion of wealth each year to charity

Sadaqah: Sadaqah is a voluntary charity in Islam given to please God

Lillah: Lillah is any mode of voluntary charity given in the name of Allah. Lillah isn’t typically given to a person but rather to an institution such as a mosque, hospital, or orphanage. Lillah donations are primarily used to contribute to the betterment of others, regardless of their religion.

Fidyah: Fidyah is an obligatory donation that must be made when a fast is missed through necessity, such as being ill or pregnant, and it cannot be made up after. Your Fidya donation must provide one impoverished person with two meals, for each fast that you’ve missed.

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