Two kind of situations came to my mind when thinking about humanitarian relief in Albania after the Communist Regime: those from the Arab countries providing dates, iftars, kurban meat etc, and those from America (such as Protestants and Mormons) providing English Courses and books for free. I don’t want to talk here about the impact or the importance of their work in the Albanian society or even to make comparison between the two kinds, but what i want to emphasise in this article is that they both were with an religious background and they both changed a lot of lives within the huge impact they started to have in different communities, more at that time than today.
Later there have been more initiatives and organizations with a humanitarian nature, but no more with a religious background. Despite all the kind of analyzes such as: their vision, their foundings, or the purpose of the organization, such kind of awaking is to be congratulated. It means people after communism are becoming aware of the impact these initiatives are having on the society and the volunteering aid and humanitarian activism is becoming very common among people. This also thanks to the social media which has an important role on spreading the “word” and rising the “voice”.
Those days I faced a motivational story, about this brave woman who is inspiring the Albanian Muslim community and diaspora, told by her father. It’s about Albana Gurgurovci, an Albanian Muslim woman from Kosovo resident in Switzerland and a mother of two children.
She is currently in Bangladesh by carrying out a charitable and humanitarian act with the help of Rohingya refugees. Albana appears to be volunteering for almost 7 year in the Islamic Center in Switzerland.
Along with a group of Muslims from this center, she is now in Bangladesh for several days with volunteering for Rohingya muslims, from where they also posted a videos about their activity over there.
Arsenta Sulejmani and Reyyan Humanity and Hope
Arsenta is only 22 years old, from Durres and studying dentistry. At the same time she manages one of the family business and is also active in different social activities. For her humanitarian initiatives are not just something to do in spare time. It’s much more than that. She was able to initiate Reyyan in 2013. This initiatives is one of her priorities list, of course after her studies and her family obligations.
Reyyan Humanity and Hope is a volunteering initiative within the purpose to give hope to people with financial problems, especially in the city of Durres. What characterize it is the fact that all the volunteers are very young and full of motivation and desire to make good deeds to change the reality in their community.
“Just as humanism and hope are two elements that identify and differentiate us comparing to the other creatures, by giving kindness, hope and love it is impossible to take pleasure. This is the reason for the establishment of this initiative. It all started with a volunteer project to offer free language courses at the Children’s Orphans Association, in Durrës. What I gave to those children was very small compared to what I got in return for about 15 months. The involvement in this volunteering made me take major steps with the sole purpose of facilitating the livelihoods of the needy and, of course, gaining the Creator’s pleasure. We started with activities such as:periodically visiting families with financial and social problems, mainly with orphan children and poor families, visiting children in the Orphanage, periodic visits to Residential Development Center at the Day Center for the elderly, iftar for Ramadan, etc.
Alone we can not do so much, together we can improve everything because the union brings change. It is important to use the time and the opportunities to make our contribution.
No one will be poor because of giving. If we can not do something by sharing monetary or material stuffs, we can contribute with our time, positivism and prayer.”
Farije Dauti Bakiu and her invitations for good deeds
This Albanian journalist from Macedonia is an inspiring example of how social media can be used for humanitarian actions by organizing individual campaigns. Thanks to her engagement by posting calls for contributions for cases such as: need for reconstruction, painting home supplies, equipments, wheelchair for disabled people, financial support and especially her effort to made a special contribution for fundraising, always voluntarily and without support of any association, during the event of the flood disaster in Skopje last year, which a similar one hasn’t been seen for almost 238 years. It also calls frequently to address people who want to give and donate something to specific institutions or organizations.
“It’s in our hands how we will use things in life. There are two ways to do the same things, but it depends on which one we choose from these two alternatives: to use them or misuse. And this applies when it comes to a profession, an object, or social networks. I always ask Lord to enable me to give and take the best out of these. Praise belongs to the Almighty that gave me the opportunity to use my profession, acquaintance, social networking and social media for sensibilization in calling for charity. No matter how effective it may be, it is important that we do our duty for which we are ordered to do.” She tells modestly for Muslimania.al
There are many other Muslimahs who are trying to make their contribution day by day to improve the situation of our society and to ease as much as they can the needs and struggles that seems to have no end. Some does it secretly and some try to give their motivational example, for a joint effort and purpose: the mutual aid we are commanded. Philanthropy or not, charity should accompany us at every step.