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Rising Above Adversity: Preparing for Ramadan with Hope and Resilience amidst Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis
by Rajaa Jadili
As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, Palestine refugees in Gaza are preparing for a time of spiritual reflection, fasting and prayer. In the midst of their daily struggles, many refugees are finding ways to generate income and share the joy of the month with their communities. Ola Abu Saleem, a resident of Deir El-Balah camp, has turned her passion for hand-made art into a source of income for her family. By creating beautiful Ramadan decorations and lanterns, she is not only supporting her family but also adds to the festive spirit of the month.
Similarly, Sahar Abu Zakari, who lives in Nuseirat Camp, uses her talent in baking to provide fresh bread to her neighbors during Ramadan, using a traditional mud oven that preserves cultural heritage while generating income for her family.
It is noteworthy that UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, is also participating in the preparations for the holy month of Ramadan through its teachers and students in schools and training centers. Mona Ibrahim, an UNRWA teacher in the al-Bahrain Boys School in Gaza, is a shining example of how the Agency's educators are celebrating the month with their students. In observation of the month, she has taken the initiative to distribute lanterns while simultaneously educating her students on the significance of this period and the accompanying religious customs.
Likewise, the Gaza Training Centre is equipping students with carpentry skills that they can use to create stunning Ramadan decorations, allowing them to contribute to the month’s joyful atmosphere with their families and communities. These efforts by UNRWA teachers and trainers are contributing to the celebration of Ramadan and help to build a sense of community and belonging among Palestine Refugees.
UNRWA service delivery in education, health care, and social services is a lifeline for many refugees in Gaza. it’s the Agency’s role in contributing to the festive spirit of the holy month of Ramadan is seen as an additional gesture of support and solidarity with these vulnerable communities.
At the heart of Ramadan is the concept of charity and giving back to those in need. For Palestine Refugees in Gaza, who face significant economic and social challenges, the practice of zakat, the giving of a portion of one's wealth to those in need, takes on a special significance during this time. This fosters a sense of community and compassion and serves as a reminder of the importance of generosity and empathy in our lives.
The preparations for Ramadan in Gaza demonstrate creativity of Palestine refugees. Despite facing multiple overlapping challenges, they continue to find ways to celebrate the month with their families and communities, while also generating income and preserving cultural traditions. The support provided by UNRWA and other organizations is essential in helping them to navigate these challenges and find hope for the future. As we enter the holy month, let us all strive to embody the spirit of charity and compassion that lies at its heart, and support those who need it most.
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