‘Ramadan Village’ raises $72.5 million to support Palestine

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
The money raised during Saturday night’s event was handed over to the UN Representative in Guyana

Some $72.5 million in donations for Palestine were raised Saturday night at the inaugural Ramadan Village – a month-long exhibition being hosted on the Muslim Youth Organisation ground in Georgetown.

The night’s activities, held under the theme “A Night of Prayer for Global Peace, Guyana and Palestine”, included several prayer sessions, a special Islamic programme and an on-the-ground donation for Palestinians displaced and affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

During the event held on the 27th night of Ramadan, President Dr Irfaan Ali spoke of the importance of charity on Laylat Al Qadr.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

“This is a historic night for Guyana and Guyanese… These resources were raised from every single community across the country. They were raised in small numbers and in large numbers but they were raised with love and charity. They were raised with the Guyanese spirit.”

The Head of State went on to reiterate calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“This is genocide! It is the first publicly televised genocide in the world. It is nothing short of genocide and it must stop. It must stop without conditions… Guyana and the People’s Progressive Party Civic Government has always been principle on matters like these.”

Only in February, the Guyana Government had pledged USD$150,000 towards the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in support of Palestinians displaced and affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Laylat Al Qadr is the holiest night of Ramadan. It is described as the Night of Power since it is believed to be the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed.

The $72.5 million raised was handed over to the UNRWA, which is the primary humanitarian agency in Gaza, with several million people depending on it for their daily survival.

Persons gathered at the Ramadan Village on Saturday

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, ministers of the Government and UN Resident Coordinator Yeşim Oruç were also at Ramadan Village.

Speaking at the event, Ms. Oruç said: “I am humbled to be able to join you in making my own personal Zakaat al fitrah [charitable donation] on this night of reflection and prayer. And I am further honoured to have been asked by His Excellency the President, and Sheikh Moeen al-Hack, Director of CIOG, to facilitate this generous donation to UNRWA, from the people of Guyana, to help alleviate the appalling human suffering now occurring in Gaza.”

“UNRWA was established by a UN General Assembly Resolution. It is the backbone of the humanitarian operation in Gaza. No other entity has the capacity to deliver assistance at the scale and breadth that the people of Gaza urgently need. Professional humanitarian workers at UNRWA provide food, water, medicine and shelter to Palestinian people, and the organisation’s work now is more essential than ever.”

Earlier in the evening, President Ali participated in Iftar at the Eccles Jamaat Masjid.