In the Syrian city of Raqqa, locals have launched a project to provide food for people in need during the holy month of Ramadan. They say that they have been carrying out this project for four years now.
Volunteers in the Syrian city of Raqqa are reviving an annual Ramadan tradition that they started before the invasion of ISIS. According to the participating volunteers, they must help those in need during Ramadan in order to truly live by the spirit of the holy month. As a result, the volunteers collect money from donors and prepare food baskets that get distributed to needy citizens throughout the city.
“The project is based on distributing non-cooked food baskets to those in need in Raqqa Province,” said Abdul Kareem al-Omar, a volunteer. “We are middlemen who collect cash and donations from donors in Raqqa [and then we prepare the baskets].”
According to the administrators of the project, the aid that is being handed out is being distributed in a way to guarantee that all families will be able to benefit equally.
“The widow who is living in her family’s house is considered a family and they are provided with two food baskets,” said Abu Ibrahim, an administrator of the project. “Furthermore, the amount distributed varies between a family of 10 and a family of four.”
While the amount of food that is being distributed may not provide for these families for the entirety of the month of Ramadan, the families say that any amount is welcome, because they are also facing increased prices on some goods.
According to shop owners, the high demand for goods in the month of Ramadan has forced the prices of everyday items, including dairy products and vegetables to rise before the holy month. Problems such as the rise in prices have motivated philanthropists in Raqqa and in nearby cities to launch the food basket project to alleviate the suffering of the people.
As the city slowly regains its health following its liberation from ISIS’ control, initiatives aimed at helping those in need show that residents will continue to stand in solidarity despite the circumstances.
“We hope that we can offer our people in Raqqa all the assistance that we can provide,” said Abdul Kareem.