Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Christians in Ariha Distribute Dates, Water to Fasting People | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Palestinian woman prays in front of the Dome of the Rock on the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan at the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City June 19, 2015. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Ramallah, London-Volunteers from the Latin Church in Ariha head everyday to the streets before the sunset with dates and water, and distribute food and drinks to walkers and passengers who return home to break their long-day Ramadan fast.

The church has launched the breakfast initiative to emphasize coexistence among Muslims and Christians in the West Bank. More than ten volunteers distribute food every night during the Holy month.

One of the volunteers, Jacque Hattar said that this step aims to show the whole world the unity between Muslims and Christians in Palestine, and that they will never fall victims for attempts of segregation.

Abdul Nasser Makki said that this step is familiar in their country, where religious and social relations exist among all sects.

In charity cuisines across the West Bank and old Jerusalem, volunteers prepare breakfast meals in massive pots for poor people. They also prepare food packages and distribute them on thousands of people before Suhoor (pre-dawn meal).

In Al-Khalil city, the asylum of “Sayed Ibrahim” has provided needy people with food, mostly during Ramadan, over 1000 years.

Mohammad Jamal Sallad, manager of the asylum established by the Palestinian Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs said that this facility has maintained its activity over the history on daily basis, by daily distributing around 1000-2000 meals and providing food for more than 5000 people in Ramadan.

In Bethlehem, “Saint Mary” is another home that provides 3,000 meals everyday for widows, needy families, people with special needs and visitors of Bethlehem’s district. It also distributes food to hospitals and delivers aid to people in their houses. The kitchen of “Saint Mary” includes around 25 volunteers who help prepare the food.

Mohammad al-Khatib, director of Jerusalem’s endowments said that in the endowment directorate, daily hot meals are prepared for all the visitors, the residents of old Jerusalem, and Al-Aqsa Mosque. The directorate also provides financial help for the poor people amidst the hard conditions the city’s residents live.

A report published by the International Monetary Fund showed that growth in the West Bank slowed down by 2.8% in 2015, while the International Labor Organization says unemployment in Palestine has reached 27%.