A leading Canadian Islamic charity has donated thousands of dollars to a Nunavut Food Center to feed dozens of needy people each day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, according to a media report.
"When we started looking in our own backyard in Canada and realized that there are challenges around food and food prices in the North, we couldn't sit still," Osama Elsaman, director of Islamic Relief Canada (IRC) programs for the Burlington, Ontario-based organization. "We had to do something and while researching what interventions we could do we came across the soup kitchen."
Giving back to its Canadian society, IRC donated $11,000 to the Iqaluit Food Centre, which is responsible for offering about 100 meals daily for Iqaluit poor. Urging Nunavut Muslims to volunteer at Iqaluit food centre during Ramadan, Elsaman stressed that the Muslim donations will be enough to continue throughout the holy month. "This is the first time we've worked up north," Elsaman said.
"We hope it will not be the last time." Long fasting hours is among several challenges that face Muslim communities in the Arctic region during this Ramada.
"It is challenging being up here in the Arctic. The days are approximately 20 to 21 hours long in terms of daylight," Mohamed Hassan, general secretary of the Islamic Society of Nunavut, said. Besides the Islamic Relief donations, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) appealed for Muslims to support its charitable campaign that aims to raise $7 million during Ramadan.
ICNA’s main projects include orphan sponsorship program as well fundraising for the people of Syria, Burma, Palestine, Nepal and Yemen on priority basis. “Our community has always been very kind and generous. Take the example of Nepal earthquake,” said Hussain.
It is noteworthy that last week, Canadian Muslims have launched Give 30 campaign across the country to feed the hungry during the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.