Assalamualaikum Wr. Wb.
The past few weeks I’ve had the golden opportunity to visit some Syrian refugees in Jordan (Mafraq). Mafraq is the closest to the Syrian borders and hence you’ll be able to find lots of Syrian refugees there. Do you know currently there are more than 600 thousands Syrian refugees in Jordan? And the number keeps INCREASING! Half of them are inside refugee camps while another half live outside of the camp. Both ways, their living conditions are still beyond unacceptable. I didn’t have the chance to visit those refugees in refugee camps yet because of some issues. InsyaAllah one day.
Before we (my husband, sister-in-law and I) made our first visit, we collected a sum of money from generous donors in Singapore for these Syrian refugees. My husband got hold of an organisation here in Jordan called “Together We Build”. This organisation actively seeks out for donors to support various projects that they have for the Syrian refugees here. InsyaAllah I will lay out each project in more details later.
So on our first visit to Syrian refugees in Mafraq we wanted to see what kind of activities this organisation is currently doing. It’s more of a recce to see if this organisation is not a fraud. Alhamdulillah we were actually quite impressed with what they are doing for the refugees here. Our first stop was a Qur’an centre. The centre was a very conducive place for both women and children to learn. Two classes of Qur’an sessions were going on concurrently. One was for younger women and another was for slightly older women. Both classes were almost full, MasyaAllah!
Most of these women (both young and old) are either widows because their husbands are martyrs or even if they still have their husbands, their husbands are in Syria fighting their lives away. Such strong women.
Coincidentally on that day, they had some kind of an Award Day. We witnessed the first half of the event and even had the opportunity to distribute goodies that were sponsored by Ghanaian donors.
Even though it’s a simple event, it’s a meaningful one. Kids performed. A group performed a skit about the love of a mother, a girl recited poem on Syria and another group sang a song (I didn’t understand the lyrics but I kept hearing “Jannah”.). It was lovely yet at the same time I could feel their sorrow.
Right after that we headed down to a new kitchen, 5 minutes drive from the Qur’an centre. As we went a few days before Ramadhan, the kitchen was not operating. It operates on first Ramadhan and they will provide ifthar for the Syrian refugees. If the kitchen is fully utilised, it will be able to accommodate for 1000 servings of food. This kitchen is fully dependent on people’s donations. This is one of projects that we’re doing. We called it the “Ramadhan Project”. One serving costs 3JD, that’s approximately SGD$6. Alhamdulillah with the help of magnanimous donors from Singapore, we’re able to provide ifthar for 1000 people on 24, 25, 26 and 27 of Ramadhan.
We visited the homes of Syrian refugees after that. Most of the buildings that were used to shelter these refugees were once stores or garages. Small rooms were turned into liveable homes with a small toilet. At 700JD approximately SGD$1231, one small room can be renovated into a liveable living place. We call this the “Shelter Project”.
However so, even when they’ve a place to live, these Syrian refugees still have to pay rent for that small square feet area! Each month they will have to pay 150JD. It’s ridiculous! Just because these people are in real need of a shelter and they will have to pay no matter what, people start to exploit them. It’s not the organisation that asked for it, it’s the owner of the building! It’s sad to see the kind of brothers and sisters we have here.
I’m not trying to bring Jordanians down cz there are still some people like those in the organisation who are kind hearted and go all out to help their fellow brothers and sisters who are in dire need.
I just wish all Jordanians are more receptive of these Syrian refugees. After all, we worship the same God and we are the people of Muhammad SAW. I hope prices of goods and housing can be more accommodating to the financial capabilities of all Muslims here in Jordan. I hope locals here will start helping people from our neighbouring countries who come here to seek refuge. I just hope each Muslim will lightened the burden of another person because it’s the only right thing to do and that’s what Muhammad SAW taught us.
This strong girl right here showed us her tiny body that was scarred by a bomb that exploded near here. From what I could infer by looking at her scar that has healed, she might have gotten this injury when she was still a baby. Ya Allah… Imagine the degree of pain that she has endured. She was also walking everywhere bare footed and she was pointing to her feet indicating that she needs money to buy a new pair of footwear.
After which, they brought us to a construction site. Their biggest project is to build a 3-storey Madrasah with a Masjid beside it. The total cost of the project is USD$1,000,000. Kuwait donors head started this project which we called the “Madrasah Project” with USD$300,000. The organisation is still in need of USD$700,000 to complete the Madrasah. Hence this Madrasah is progressing at a very very slow pace.
An elaborated details on the Madrasah: The first storey will be for women to pick up new skills like cooking, sewing, etc, so that they can make a living out of that. As you all already know, these women are mostly single mothers and they are the main breadwinner in the family. The second storey will be classrooms for the kids to study in. And the third storey will be an orphanage.
Near the Madrasah site, there’s a Christian American hospital. We were told that Syrian children who seek treatment from that hospital will be given two boxes. One labelled as “Muhammad” and another labelled as “Jesus”. When they place their hands in the box labelled “Muhammad”, their hands will be stained by dirty ink. However if they put in their hands in the box labelled “Jesus”, they will be rewarded with sweets and gifts. When Muslims hear news like this, it’s always easy for us to start being insensitive towards the religion and condemn their acts (and the people too).
However, have we ever asked ourselves? Why is it whenever a crisis like this happens, the first one to render assistance would be the Christians? Yes, they may have their own agenda but they do it because Jesus taught them to do so – to be kind to others and be a good samaritan. Why can’t Muslims be the one eager to offer a helping hand because our Prophet Muhammad SAW taught us that “None of you will truly believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” [Buhkhari]. It’s part of faith and it’s about being human. When will we ever stop thinking about ourselves and start to think of others?
Allah brought down the Qur’an for us as a guidance and not for us to read it like a story book, and Muhammad SAW left behind his Sunnah so that we could emulate it.
Alhamdulillah we have our own organisation here in Jordan called Singapore Student’s Association in Jordan (SIRAJ). SIRAJ has various aims and one of them is dedicated to the Syrian Refugees in Jordan. Alhamdulillah since day one we started on this, many Singaporeans are gaining more awareness of their Muslim brothers and sisters here and are donating generously towards this cause.
SIRAJ was invited to ifthar recently. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking, yeah: 🙂
Just yesterday, we (SIRAJ president, my husband and I) were invited again for ifthar. Yesterday’s event was only for women and children. I didn’t have the pictures of the whole event with me. When we were walking pass the Syrian women, my husband and I held hands. Then we decided to let go because we’re afraid they’ll be remembered of their husbands. Then I realised how painful it must be being in their shoes. Yet at the same time I realised that I’m actually looking at potential Jannah’s residents. MasyaAllah. They may lose their love ones in this dunya, but there’s no better place to be reunited with their love ones again – Jannah.
If you’re in Singapore or have a Singapore bank account, you may ask how can you contribute? This is our latest poster and it is a brief summary of what I’ve written from the top.
You can contact via Whatsapp any of the numbers above or you can also contact me (Shikin) via Whatsapp at +6582981248. We’ve different rounds of donation with different targets and Alhamdulillah as of now, we’re on our 4th round now.
For more updates on this cause, please search for SIRAJ page on facebook. (I’m sorry I’m a noob at this cz idk how to put up link). SIRAJ is trying to be as transparent as possible, so please keep yourself updated if you’re keen to know if the money safely reaches the right people. Also, SIRAJ will be having an upcoming Qurban project in Syria soon! Do keep a look out on that from SIRAJ facebook page too.
On behalf of SIRAJ, I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to all those who have donated generously! Without the help of you guys, our Syrian brothers and sisters will be sleeping hungry during this Ramadhan, will have no roof above their heads, and will not be able to achieve the dreams they once had (due to lack of education). Only Allah SWT can reward you tremendously for your contributions. For those who can’t contribute in monetary terms, you can still do so by sharing about this cause to the ones who care.