A Historical Day in Reyhanli
On Friday the 11th of April 2014, corresponding the 11th of Jumada II 1435, the weather in Reyhanli, Turkey was in stark contrast to what Al-Imdaad Foundation had experienced in their last visit to this region. On this particular blessed day of Jumuah, the temperature was between 30 -35 degrees Celsius and the sun was beaming down on Reyhanli from a clear blue sky. This is a town and district of Hatay Province, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, near the country's border with Syria. The town lies on the main road between İskenderun and Aleppo, Syria.
There were several purposes for Al-Imdaad’s visit to this specific area:
- Review and assess the distribution of Aid to Syria;
- Attend the ‘We Need You’ campaign ceremony hosted by IHH;
- Inauguration of Al-Imdaad Foundation’s Office in Reyhanli;
- Attend the meeting chaired by the President of IHH;
- Visit a Hospital treating only Syrian refugees; and
- Visit a purpose built bread factory
Apart from the well-established and recognised blessings that descend on a Jumuah day, this particular Jumuah day was indeed a very special and a blessed day for other reasons too. This was physically felt and experienced throughout the entire day from Fajr to Magrib. This day was without doubt unprecedented and extraordinary. For many, this day was a historical day and I thank Allah for granting me this unique opportunity to witness this day on behalf of Al-Imdaad Foundation and its special donors.
IHH, the Turkish NGO, through its concerted efforts, were successful in assembling 36 Muslim humanitarian organisations, such as Al-Imdaad Foundation, Muslim Aid, Human Appeal, Channel Islam, Islamic Relief and RAF Foundation from 16 different countries, including UK, South Africa, Australia, Kuwait, Libya and Qatar. This is near enough impracticable in today’s world where divisions, disunity, discord and disagreement is prevalent in the Islamic world. Therefore, this assembly on the borders of Turkey and Syria is an astronomical and tremendous achievement. IHH, its senior officials, its Members, volunteers and employees must be applauded, praised, congratulated and commended for their sterling efforts in bringing together several leading Islamic humanitarian charity organisations. Our special thanks go to our beloved Sisters Nalan Dal and Gulnihal Kafa who arranged this trip to detail for Al-Imdaad Foundation and ensured that we took maximum benefit from this blessed trip. May Allah reward them all abundantly and be pleased with them.
We Need You Campaign
This auspicious gathering was initiated and steadily developed through the ‘We Need You’ Campaign. This project was designed to raise awareness of the plight of the people of Syria and gather aid for distribution. Through its various contacts with many humanitarian organisations, IHH coordinated this scheme and encouraged all to subscribe to this campaign and raise funds. Some 36 organisation, including Al-Imdaad Foundation contributed and raised funds through its donors. Some raised more than others, however, what was valued the most, was the participation. We pray and acknowledge every organisation that were present that day and every single donor that made a contribution to these organisations, regardless how small that contribution may be. All in all, there were over 300 artic lorries laden with food, clothes, hygiene products and other bare essentials parked in a secure lorry park. Al-Imdaad Foundation (Global) provided six lorries full of flour and sanitation products. Representative of all 36 organisations were invited to attend the ceremony to commence the distribution of the ‘We Need You’ campaign. The president of IHH opened the ceremony with a brief speech. He thanked us all for our involvement and pointed out that the lorries laden with aid is only little compared to the difficulties, hardship and the ‘Need’ in Syria. We must continue to help these oppressed brothers and sisters. Thereafter he invited the delegates of each organisation to say a few words. Molana Burhaan of Al-Imdaad Australia gave a passionate and moving speech reminding us of the work we have before us and commending us on our unity and finally thanking IHH for their hard work in making this possible.
Inauguration of Offices in Reyhanli
After performing Salaatul Jumuah, the delegates gathered around at the entrance of a new complex. A short prayer was made begging Allah for his forgiveness and his assistance. We sought Allah’s acceptance and pleasure and we invoked his mercy and blessings. Together with the delegates of each organisation, the president of IHH cut the ribbon and declared the new complex open.
This building consists of several offices belonging to the leading charity organisations who have agreed to work with and be partner of IHH. We are pleased to announce that Al-Imdaad Foundation are one of the fortunate organisations and we now have our own dedicated office in Reyhanli. As mentioned earlier, Reyhanli is situated at the border of Syria, making this a strategic area to facilitate our distributions into Syria. We are able to carry out our Syrian projects from this office and it also allows us an easier route into Idlib, Syria, where Al-Imdaad have their containerised village for the people of Syria. Furthermore, this important office is in the same building surrounded by other major humanitarian aid organisations. This will encourage us to work together, help each other and support each other.
Attend the meeting chaired by the President of IHH;
After Lunch the president if IHH chaired a meeting with all the representatives. He invited us all to express our opinions, share our thoughts and concerns. The president requested that we should hold meetings as such on a regular basis and we must hold one before the month of Ramadhan.
Hospital and Bread Factory
The delegates were given a tour of a hospital where Syrian civilians injured in the conflict, or require medical attention are hospitalised. There are several doctors and nurses working voluntarily manning the hospital 24/7. The senior consultant pleaded with us to pass on his message that they are in dire need of medical goods, doctors and nurses.
The delegates witnessed at first hand the work that was in progress to help the people of Syria. We visited a bread factory. The lorry loads of flour, donated through the charity organisations, are brought into this factory and offloaded. We witnessed the machines being operated and the conveyor belts carrying the dough to the furnace and the bread (Naan) being baked. The bread is packed immediately, palletised and loaded onto the waiting lorries ready for distribution across the border. We have been informed that approximately 170,000 Naan bread is baked here daily!
The congregation of 36 Humanitarian organisations for the Syrian cause shows the severity of the situation in Syria. This ongoing conflict has claimed many lives and millions more are at risk. It is through the help of Allah and your support that we can minimise the impact of this war and save lives. There is much work to be done. The coming together of many organisations for one cause reflects the acceptance of those who are involved and it may indeed be the effects of the supplication of our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sal’lal’laaho alaihi wa sal’lam when he in his own words blessed Shaam.
The events of this day confirms that the donations provided are being utilised in the correct manner and huge effort is being exerted into making sure that the donations reach its intended subjects. As a final message I beg you all to continue your support in any way you can. May Allah accept your efforts and may He bring peace to all.