A delegation of South African ulema are currently making their rounds through refugee camps in Syria as thousands are fleeing their homes to find safety from the war. Working alongside Turkish Humanitarian organisation, IHH, the director of Darul Islam Relief Fund (DARF), Sheikh Irfaan Abrahams and Sheikh Igsaan Solomons from the Athlone masjid gave an exclusive update on their trip.
Speaking to VOC News, a young humanitarian worker responsible for aiding Syrians in the Kilis province, Erhan Mosad Yemelek gave his observation of the current situation within Syria.
With Solomons acting as a translator, Yemelek explained that in the four year uprising in Syria, each year has been worse than the last. Syrians no longer have access to clean water and sanitation or a place of safety where they can avoid the infighting.
“Usually people here had a healthy body weight and many people had food they could eat. Now, people go for months without proper food or water,” Yemelek explained.
Yemelek has a great responsibility in overseeing aid assistance in the province.
“The continuous bombings in major cities such as Aleppo have driven out Syrians to seek refuge or shelter in camps. Most of the madaris, hospitals and other public facilities have been destroyed. Only a tenth of the people are still in the city. At the moment only four, very small hospitals have survived the bombings,” Yemelek added.
The situation in Syria has worsened as he world turns its attention to Gaza. Yemelek further added that basic necessities are out of reach for Syrians and many rely on international aid to survive.
“In the city of Homs, the local ulema have issued a fatwa (religious verdict) allowing people to slaughter and consume animals such as cats due to the scarcity of food. The people in Syrians need just about anything from water to clothing. Children are dying as a result of insufficient clothing to fight off the cold weather in winter,” Yemelek said.
In conclusion, Yemelek thanked the South African community for their generous donations and assistant during this time. He further extended his heartfelt appreciation and appealed to the community to never forget the people of Syria in their duahs. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)