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Homeless in Hijab

Written by Kaighla Um Dayo

100% of the regular writers here at islamwich are Muslim. 100% of us are women. 66% of us have been, at one point or another, homeless Muslim women.

Let me tell you: it’s no party. 

Recently, I had a Muslim convert come forward and tell her heart-wrenching story of homelessness as a Muslim woman, and I could relate all too well.

Here are just a few things we wish our fellow Muslims knew about what it’s like being homeless, female, and Muslim.

homeless in hijab

1.”But where is your family? And friends?”

Need we remind you about how much fun it is being a new convert and having most/all of your friends and family turn their backs on you? You can head on over to “Convert Central” for more on that.

Common sense would dictate, though, that if a person had any family or friends to turn to, they would surely have gone that route before appealing to a perfect stranger.

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Ramadan Giving: Home of Hope

Ramadan Giving: Home of Hope

Written by Stephanie Siam

As Ramadan 2014 progresses into its midway-point, most of us have established a daily routine that incorporates suhoor (pre-fasting meal before dawn), dua’a (supplications), salaah (prayer), dhikr (remembrance of God in word and action), and iftar (fast-breaking meal at sunset), often culminating with tarawe’eh (supplementary evening prayers offered during Ramadan) and witr (supplementary midnight prayer).

For most, iftar is a time we gather around the table with our family and/or friends, joyfully sharing food and fellowship. We laugh and talk about the day’s events; we contemplate our fasts and discuss stories of our Prophets (peace be upon them). And as we sit around our living rooms, lounging on sofas in post-fast dazes, we look at our children playing and the spirit of this blessed season overcomes us, and we say, “Alhumdulillah wa shukr!” (Thank you, God!)

Our children are the greatest gift Allah bestows upon us, and we owe it to them (and Him) to provide, support and protect them at all times.

Yet, not every child has a parent who can – or will – care for and love them. And so it is, at this time, I want to share with you, dear readers, a noble and worthy cause and opportunity for zakat (tithing) and sadaqa (charity) during this holy month: Home of Hope.

Home of Hope
Photo Credit: Home of Hope

Home of Hope opened in 1991 in Beirut, Lebanon. Established by the Lebanese Evangelical Society (Christian-based, but it doesn’t matter – we’re talking about CHILDREN!), it “serves the misfortunate, abused, abandoned and orphaned children of Lebanon.”

It also provides a home and shelter for refugee children coming from neighboring at-war countries, such as Syria and Palestine.  And one of the best aspects of Home of Hope is that it doesn’t discriminate based on religious affiliation. That’s right – they accept every child.

3 yr old
A 3-yr-old refugee arrives in the middle of the night/ Home of Hope Facebook

But the problem is they’re running out of room (or have possibly run out by now), supplies, and just plain financial support. As this month progresses, more and more children have been taken in by their organization, in an effort to save the kids who generally live on the street from being arrested. These are children who have no parents, whose parents are in jail for various reasons (sometimes legitimate, sometimes not), whose parents have cast them aside due to being illegitimate, whose parents force them out on the street to work and earn money for them.

Boys sleeping on mattresses with barely a blanket to cover them/ Home of Hope Facebook

Just a few of the problems they’re experiencing are:

  • insufficient heat during the winter due to not having access to a generator during country-wide electricity rations
  • lack of protein-based food supplies (i.e., meat)
  • shortage of beds and bedding
  • not enough clothing, including undergarments and coats, for children of all ages

These are children who, after reaching the age of adulthood and leaving Home of Hope, will never be considered legal residents or citizens of Lebanon. These are children who have no agency. Children who will always be at risk of arrest or detainment, simply because they’re alive.

What does Home of Hope do besides provide shelter, food and clothing for homeless/refugee/orphaned children in Lebanon?

Our aims for the Home of Hope are many and multi-faceted, but they all focus on creating a nurturing, encouraging, and helpful environment, which shall: first of all, help them to recover from the traumatic events which they have passed through; and second, to educate and raise the children to be intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to face an increasingly biased future.

Where can I learn more about Home of Hope?

Check out their website at http://www.homeofhopelebanon.org/home.html.

Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/homeofhopelebanon.

You can also check out the following articles that have been featured by news sources around the world:

Al Jazeera: Syrian child refugees, alone and exploited

The Washington Post: In Lebanon, Syrian refugee children find safety from war but new dangers on the streets

NOW: The lost children of Lebanon’s streets

IRIN Middle East: LEBANON – Alaa Al-Bouz, Beirut, ‘I was taken to an orphanage when I was too young to even remember’

How can I donate?

Secure online donations are being accepted through Tying Vines. Go to https://www.tyingvines.org/donate/  and select Project 1302/Home of Hope.  All donations are tax deductible.

To make a donation to Hope of Hope via bank transfer:

Lebanese Evangelical Institute for Social Work & Development

USD IBAN : LB43 0001 0005 5266 1512 0030 4001

LBP IBAN : LB53 0001 0005 5266 1512 0010 4001

SWIFT CODE : FSAB LB BX FRANSABANK– Hazmieh Branch

Contact Person:

Maher Tabarani

Email: mtabarani@lesociety.org

Phone: +961 71 798 879

And for the sake of Allah, please remember these children in your prayers and dua’a this Ramadan. . .and always!

help the children
Home of Hope Facebook Page

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