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little sweetheart

September 12, 2006
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manalHer name is Manal Bassam Said Rezeq. When I first looked at her photo, I thought ‘comelnyer!’ & I was delighted to read on. But the rest of the content of the letter sent by Interpal London to me aren’t that pleasant.

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Interpal is a charity organisation based in London dedicated to help our brothers & sisters in Palestine. Last June, I registered for the Palestine Orphan Sponsorship Programme & they linked me to this cute little Palestinian girl named Manal. I shall be providing for Manal every month with an agreed amount of money. When a friend introduced me to this programme, I didn’t think much. The only thing that crossed my mind was ‘Why not give some $$$ for charity each month?’ and that was all. But when Interpal sent me the photo, birth certificate, parent death certificate and full details of the orphan girl to whom my money goes to, I started to feel different, and think more.

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It’s funny but I can’t believe that I am actually linked to a Palestinian. I’ve heard and read about them too often on the news, making everything too cliché, sounds just like a gush of wind to me & I started to depersonalize them. ‘They are just some poor people out there, far…far…awayy, somewhere called Palestine.’

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Although my Palestinian brothers & sisters are often mentioned in my Du’a, but deep inside I don’t feel strongly connected to them, perhaps because I don’t in reality know any of them, their names, their family, their friends, their personal stories and so on. I do not have any friends from Palestine and I’ve never truly meet a Palestinian, except an old speaker who came to my university a long time ago. The rest of my knowledge as well as emotions towards Palestine, almost entirely depend on what the media provides me.

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Thus, getting linked to Manal is a new experience to me. A new feeling. An eye-opener. Manal is 6 years old today, lives in Rafah, Palestine. Her parent died when she was 2 years old. She has 4 siblings and completely depends on generous donations to live. I shall be providing her needs each month and her regular progress report & medical report, will be sent to me by Interpal. I begin to learn, to realize that this is not a fairy tale. There are real people with real needs living in Palestinian soil, the blessed land of Isra’, which is raining bullets nowadays.

May Allah help Manal, may Allah lead her to the right way of Islam throughout her life and insyaAllah, she will always be in my Du’a, as well as my other Palestinian brothers & sisters. May we meet someday, if not in Al-Aqsa, insyaAllah in heaven. Ameen.

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19 Sya’ban 1427H

Galway.

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