Calgary Muslim community marks Ramadan by giving to Ukrainians fleeing war

Members of Calgary's Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association drop of household items to be given to Ukrainians fleeing that war-torn country, on April 25, 2022. Global News

Members of Calgary’s Muslim community showed their charity to Ukraine nationals fleeing that country because of the ongoing Russian invasion and war.

On Monday afternoon, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association dropped off donations of household items at the Women In Need Society’s (WINS) thrift store.

“Things that, you know, would help adjust to their new normal life that they would have,” Adila Munir, an Ahmadiyya spokesperson, said.

A mother herself, Munir said her goals for her family include making her home comfortable to sleep in and to be able to provide warm, nutritious meals.

“These mothers, these children that are coming and they have the same goals. Ultimately, we all want to live in a peaceful environment and giving a little bit of comfort by these things – I know things are not the only source of comfort – but if they can provide a source of comfort, why not?”

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April coincides with the month of Ramadan, typically seen as a month of fasting in Islam. But the month is also marked by giving.

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“In that spirit, a lot of the members of our community were asked to donate; to look in their homes and see if they have any items that they would be willing to help out others with,” Munir said. “And they weren’t asked to go out and purchase anything.”

This isn’t the first refugee group Calgary’s Muslim community has tried to help. Recent years have seen need from people fleeing countries like Syria and Afghanistan.

But their charitable work extends beyond just incoming refugees.

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“Members of our community are very giving and they have a very high spirit of giving. Charity is something that is highly valued and giving to those who are less fortunate is something that we really strongly do believe in.”

The Centre for Newcomers is connecting recently-arrived Ukrainians with WINS, who will be disseminating the household items.

And with a week left in Ramadan, donations are still welcome, via the Centre for Newcomers or the Baitun-Nur Mosque.

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It’s a way to share the relative fortune enjoyed in Calgary with those fleeing a war-torn country.

“What we can do in having the luxuries that we have is give and help and support them as they adjust to their new life,” Munir said.

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“Coming to a new country has its challenges. And if you can support by giving a few items, why not right?”

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