Providing meals for Iftar in the most volatile part of Iraq

By Maymoona Albabel--Aljazeera Talk

Diyala-The hands of charity have been working to ease the sadness of Iraqis and draw smiles on their faces, even through the last days of Ramadan.

Although these gestures are small in comparison to the enormous difficulties facing Iraqis overall, iftar meals here, a little money there, some relief here, and some healing there have helped to sooth the suffering of the Iraqi soul.

This charitable work has been done through Arab social service organizations, which have faced major difficulties in reaching hard-hit places where people are most in need. This is especially true in very volatile areas of the country that look like war zones, where it is nearly impossible for charities and social service organizations to reach.

In this dangerous environment, LIFE for Relief and Development, which works in Iraq, has found a way to work in these provinces by opening up local offices. One such office is in the hottest of hotspots, i.e. Diyala.

LIFE, in partnership with the Sharjah Charity House, offered up iftar meals on the last day of the holy month of Ramadan to scores of fasting Diyala residents.

Aljazeera Talk spoke with the head of LIFE's office in Diyala, Mr. Kelan Almahdawi, who stressed the importance of such charitable endeavors as well as the importance of building relationships between organizations and citizens. "The international aid organizations may not be able to reach these areas, but much work can be done by cooperating with local civic organizations," said Almahdawi. "Preparations for the feast that was provided was done at a time that could be described as overtime. Thank God, we were able to produce what was necessary in order for this Arabic feast to be served in the most volatile spot in the country, as well as other areas too. Those who gathered did so with one collective heart and one collective hand in the spirit of the feast."

A man named Yasir who was participating in the feast stated, "we all felt the happiness and compassion brought by this event, and we really felt that we, as Muslims, were all one; we pray to Allah that He bless everyone who helped in this effort in the service of the Iraqi people and of those who are victims of dire circumstances."