Ismaili community members in UAE mark Civic Day with volunteering work for Pakistan flood relief

Ismaili volunteers
Nazma Rashid, Communications Coordinator of the Ismaili Centre Dubai; Sarah Hashwani, Ismaili CIVIC Lead; Dr Faisel Ikram, President of the Pakistan Association Dubai; Khalil Mohammed, VP of the Ismaili Community UAE; Umaima Amjad, Outreach & Resource Officer for PAD; Farzana Mohammed and Laila Merchant, at the flood relief campaign at PAD.

Dubai: Members of the Ismaili Muslim community in the UAE recently took part in relief operations to support the flood victims in Pakistan.

The volunteering services for the relief operations in Dubai were held as part of the second annual Global Ismaili Civic Day, which fell on September 25. Ismaili Civic Day is a global programme under which the Ismaili Muslim community across the world unites around its centuries-old tradition of serving humanity by rendering voluntary service to improve the quality of life of the communities in which it lives, regardless of faith, gender or background. This international endeavour reflects the community’s ethic of civic engagement and good citizenship.

Dh2.2m worth of aid sent

Dr Faisel Ikram, president of PAD, said as of September 26, approximately Dh2.2m worth of aid had been sent to Pakistan.

The relief materials weighing 300 tonnes have been dispatched “Nine 40ft containers have been loaded and dispersed from PAD from September 7 till September 26. The loading starts after 10pm and lasts till 6am,” he said.

“The Pakistan Association Dubai launched this initiative along with the government of Dubai. We stand together. And this is part of the UAE Aid initiative, which has nine charity organisations. We work under the umbrella of the Dar Al Ber Society.”

He said various community members came forward and there had been enormous response from various corporates as well.

Ismaili community volunteers
Ismaili community in UAE volunteers preparing packages for flood relief campaign at Pakistan Association in Dubai.

“Especially during the weekend, we’ve seen the Ismaili community also celebrating the Ismaili Civic Day by participating in it. I think this is a spirit which very few communities have. Their children from the age of five to adulthood, they’re all contributing at various levels. At Pakistan Association Dubai, we thank them and we appreciate the way they have come forward. And we hope that this partnership grows and continues in the future also.”

Rizwan Fancy, director of Welfare at PAD said: “We are extremely grateful to the Ismaili community for supporting the PAD Flood Relief Camp. As Pakistan battles a troubling crisis, it is heartening to see our diverse community coming forward to contribute on such a large scale. In critical times like these, the participation of our community is strengthening to our cause for rehabilitating the victims of the catastrophic floods back home.”

600 hours of voluntary work

The members of the Ismaili Community volunteered to sort, pack and label relief items to be sent to Pakistan as part of the flood relief efforts. Volunteers were able to donate “in-kind “emergency essentials at PAD on both days, such as tents, blankets, dry rations and clothing.

Pakistan is currently in a state of national emergency following devastating floods believed to be due to climate change. During this summer, Pakistan received almost double its 30-year average rainfall affecting more than 33 million people, destroying or damaging an estimated 1.7m homes, 5,000 kilometres of road and 240 bridges.

Over 1400 people have died including 400 children and financial losses have been estimated to be in excess of $10 Billion, with further consequential economic disruption expected in the months ahead.