From your award winning charity
15 July 2020

Syria or Yemen: Who Would You Choose?

Safa Faruqui
Syria or Yemen: Who Would You Choose?

Muslim Hands is distributing Qurbani in over 20 locations worldwide, including Syria and Yemen. See all our Qurbani locations and order your Qurbani.

Although Eid al-Adha is an occasion of joy, it is always peppered with minor worries and stresses. There are debates over what gifts to buy, what clothes to wear and what meals to cook and, this year, we have the additional worry of deciding whether to attend Eid prayer and visit our families or just stay at home and Zoom everyone.

However, we are privileged to have such small worries - many Muslims have far more serious and difficult worries to cope with on the days of Eid.

Meet Hanan. A refugee who escaped Syria two years ago, after her husband was killed in the conflict. She and her children were forced to flee to south Lebanon to live with the children's grandparents in an over-crowded Palestinian refugee camp. 

As Hanan's husband was the main breadwinner, she's been struggling to raise her children without his support. She learned how to sew so she can earn money, hoping to give her children a brighter future. To help their families, many Syrian refugee children find extremely low paid jobs on the streets or on farms, but Hanan is determined to send her children to school instead, saving everything she can to do so. She dreams that one day they will have stable lives, far away from the impoverished, overcrowded refugee camp.

Even when the war started, Hanan had no idea she'd be raising her children as orphan refugees, dependent on charity to get by. She has been forced to start buying lower-quality food, and she is even borrowing money to meet her basic needs. But Eid al-Adha is the one time of year when she can show her children a better life. When a Qurbani sacrifice arrives, Hanan will be prepare a meal with meat, a rare luxury, and share the blessings of Eid with her children.

Further south in Yemen, the conflict there continues to tear apart the infrastructure of an already poor country, devastating the lives of a whole generation of children. They have been forced to cope with hunger, disease and mass displacement. Their schools have been destroyed and their families have lost their livelihoods. With the end of the war nowhere in sight, Yemenis face a long, stark future of trying to rebuild their country.

Meet Raheem. He worries about the future of his children, with his main concern right now simply being their survival. Like most people in his village, his family get by on whatever they can find to eat. They live in the middle of the desert: it is a struggle to even get two meals a day and 35% of children in his area suffer from malnutrition.

Raheem works as a labourer when he can find work, earning around £6.00 for a day's work. Often, there are no labouring jobs, so he collects firewood, plastic and metal to sell and doing anything he can to put food on the table.

Even in the midst of the struggle and conflict, Raheem hopes that Eid can be a blessed and celebratory occasion for his family. Like Hanan, he wants his children to experience a better life. Raheem can't afford meat, but a Qurbani sacrifice will give his family the chance to enjoy nutritious meals with meat over the days of Eid.

'Giving us meat in Eid makes our day', Raheem says. 'Now we can celebrate Eid happily just like everybody else. We are grateful and happy that you thought of sharing meat with us'.

The Prophet (saw) used to give two Qurbanis - one was his obligatory sacrifice, and one was given on behalf of someone from his Ummah who couldn't afford to sacrifice an animal. This beautiful Sunnah meant more poor families could be fed on the days of Eid, yet this practice has been all but forgotten today.

This year, it is more important than ever that we revive this forgotten Sunnah. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the lives of the most vulnerable, we need your help to reach even more families with nutritious meat.

Both Hanan's children and Raheem's children deserve to enjoy a meal with meat on the days of Eid. This year, give twice like the Prophet (saw), to double your impact and protect more children from malnutrition.

See all our Qurbani locations and order your Qurbani.

Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.