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This month of Muharram, we bring to life the stories of our faith’s heroes. Stories of struggle and sacrifice. Reviving their stories not only keeps us connected with their message, but it fuels us with hope and a drive to walk in their path.
For Redha, Muharram’s significance is two-fold, because it also keeps him connected with his personal hero: his father. Before he passed away, Redha’s father used to hold an Arbaeen stall, every year without fail. Today, it’s Redha who keeps the tradition alive every Arbaeen.
“My father was a victim of terrorism,” Redha explains. “He died in an explosion while he was dismantling explosives to save the lives of others.”
When the explosion killed Redha’s father, Redha was faced with the most difficult task imaginable: he had to collect his father’s remains. The experience compounded his grief and trauma. It is little wonder that he is so mature for his age.
The first time our staff met Redha, they were humbled by his adult-like hospitality. He insisted on serving them tea and invited them to join his mawkib (serving station). He shared stories of his father with the team. With great pride, he showed them a choppy video where his father’s name could be heard faintly.
When Redha’s father passed away, his family were thrown into poverty. Our orphan sponsorship programme helped the family overcome the immediate impact of their loss. Today, the worst is behind them and things are looking brighter for Redha. With their financial situation having improved, Redha’s family no longer needs support from Al-Ayn. The aid they used to receive will now help other orphaned children in need.
“I am counting down the days to the Arbaeen,” Redha tells us with a glint in his eye. “I will serve chai to visitors from around the world. Since my father’s death, we have placed his photo on the pillar of my family’s mawkib.”
At Al-Ayn, we are forever inspired by the strength of the orphaned children we work with. We are renewing our commitment to providing dignified care for orphaned children this Muharram. Together, we will empower the children with the strength to overcome loss and poverty and work towards a future of hope.
Join us as we turn tragedy into hope and hope into action #ForOrphanedChildren.