Manchester’s Muslim community tackle hunger crisis with Islamic Relief campaign ahead of Ramadan

By Reece Lawrence

With the Muslim festival of Ramadan fast approaching, a nationwide fundraiser is introducing a new hard-hitting campaign – with Manchester set to host a regional tour dinner and concert this month.

The Zakat of the Righteous Tour, which will feature Canadian poet Boonaa Mohammed and distinguished imam Sheikh Saed Rageah, is part of Islamic Relief’s War on Hunger drive.

It is advocating long-term solutions, such as sustained agriculture, water, education, and healthcare, in order to stamp out poverty.

Jehangir Malik, Islamic Relief’s UK Director, said in places such as Syria, ordinary people were suffering in the most extraordinary ways.

He added: “We’re working in some of the most dangerous countries in the world and getting aid through to some of the world’s most vulnerable and malnourished people.”

The campaign – centered on helping transform and save lives in areas hit by conflict, such as Afghanistan and the Middle East – is urging the public to forget about the politics of war.

The month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast sunrise to sunset, starts on July 9 and is also a significant time of year for raising money for charity.

More than £100million is collected during the religious observance, with Islamic Relief obtaining around a third of its annual income at this time.

Ateeq Salik, the campaign’s co-ordinator, said: “It’s wonderful to see all our volunteers coming together to let the people of Syria know that their brothers and sisters in the Manchester area have not forgotten them.

“We are doing what we can in this holy month of Ramadan.”

The initiative is spreading the message with a series of cinema, television and billboard advertisements.

The cinema commercials are showing at the Odeon Manchester Trafford Centre, the Odeon Manchester Print Works and the Odeon Rochdale Multiplex.

Islamic Relief has assisted 1.1 million people inside Syria and surrounding countries, and of 15.6 million people worldwide in the past year.

The event will take place on July 6 at 6pm at Manzil Restaurant and Banqueting Hall on Bury New Road, with tickets costing £15 and funds going to Syria.

Picture courtesy of Ranoush via Flickr, with thanks

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