Othman Moqbel (CEO, Human Appeal International) is visiting East Africa to implement new projects for those displaced by the drought. He has sent back the following reflection. Check out day one and day two.
This morning I attended the Rain Prayer (Salatul Istiska) which brought together over 10,000 people from across Somalia who came to pray for rain. It was a very moving and emotional experience as we jointly prayed for Allah’s help to come. It was held near to one of the biggest refugee camps where earlier on this week we visited. Other rain prayers were offered after Friday prayers in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia.
I was interviewed by Al Jazeera News and Al Jazeera live. I spoke about how the initiative from the Qatar charity to set up the rain prayer was very important and it goes a long to way to unite the people of Somalia and the organisations too. I spoke about how it united the ummah in a day of mercy for those suffering in Somalia.
After I came back from the rain prayer this morning our meetings with local NGOs still continued as Muslim Charities Forum looked to move forward to build more cooperation and coordination between local NGOs themselves and also the international NGOs. Alhamdulillah, we managed to help set up an umbrella body called SHOC (Somalia Humanitarian Operational Consortium). This body will certainly improve the relationships between the NGOs on the ground so that the work can take place more efficiently and effectively.
After attending Friday prayers we had hoped to distribute more food packages to those families that we saw at refugee camps. Unfortunately because of security issues we were not able to arrange this in time. Such is the situation in Somalia that before any work is carried out there are many checkpoints which can hamper the work. But we did manage to set up another medical relief unit as families from the airport refugee camp came to get aid. This was the refugee camp we visited on the first day. Again doctors were on hand to provide advice and counsel ill members. Hundreds were treated.
And finally in the evening we met with members of OIC, Muslim Charities Forum and local NGOs for a working dinner to discuss the projects being implemented.
Tomorrow myself and Furqan Naeem (our summer intern) will be travelling back to Nairobi. I will be preparing for the busy OIC and Humanitarian Forum in Nairobi which gathers all the local and international NGOs to discuss the recovery phase in Somalia.
During my time here I have seen Human Appeal International do some great work on the ground alongside other charities but still the need is huge. The situation is still very miserable for the people and with your support and help we can continue to support the needy in Somalia. We hope this is not the last visit to Somalia but our first and we want to continue to help, develop and bring peace to the people of Somalia so they have a better future.
Othman Moqbel (CEO)