This Ramadan, Mohammed Ameen Al-Abbas and his family are refugees and depend upon humanitarian aid to survive.
When deadly conflict forced Mohammed to flee his home in Al-Raqqa, he joined over 1.1 million Syrians currently seeking safety across the border in Lebanon.
“I have three daughters and two boys.” Mohammed told Islamic Relief when we visited him in Bekaa. “My wife is 45-years old. My eldest son is ten-years old, my [youngest child] is five. We all came to this camp. Thank God for the help of the Lebanese.”
Unable to work, Mohammed and his family rely on humanitarian assistance.
“I cannot work, and nobody [in my family works]. All of my children are young, three of them in school. I swear to God, we are living on humanitarian aid. But, it is not enough.”
Bread, water, electricity – all of the essentials – are expensive, he told us. Mohammed salvages firewood to use for cooking and warmth. He borrows money to buy things that his children need. It is a stark contrast to his former life.
“We used to be sat comfortably at home in our country, next to our friends and relatives. Look at what has happened. Alhamdulillah. Our country is precious and cannot be replaced.
“I thank God just to be a man living with his family. There are a hundred households like us, they need help. Everyone is in need. We came here as refugees, we will leave everything to God.”
Easing hunger at Ramadan
Last year, Mohammed received a foodpack distributed by Islamic Relief in Lebanon. Each pack contained basic foodstuffs such as rice, lentils and pasta as well as a range of treats including halawa, sweets, dates and cheese. More than 34,500 Syrian refugees, Palestinian refugees and poor Lebanese families benefited from our parcels.
“I received a Ramadan package last year. It did make my life easier and it helped us. Thank God, we manage with what we have, we have our suhoor (pre-dawn meal before fasting).
“We would like to thank everyone that gives aid. May God bless them and those who have money to give.”