KSRelief to launch ‘aid projects for Syrian refugees in Lebanon’

“The purpose of this trip is to implement a series of relief projects and extend bridges of cooperation between KSRelief and Lebanese civil society institutions.” — Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah KSRelief general supervisor. (SPA)
Updated 23 April 2019
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KSRelief to launch ‘aid projects for Syrian refugees in Lebanon’

  • Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah announced the initiatives at the start of a three-day visit to Lebanon
  • UN figures put Saudi Arabia at the forefront of efforts to provide relief for refugees and crisis-hit people

BEIRUT: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) on Monday revealed plans to launch vital aid projects for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah announced the initiatives at the start of a three-day visit to Lebanon aimed at stepping up joint relief work in the country.

After being met by the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon, Walid Al-Bukhari, at Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Al-Rabeeah said in a statement that he was looking forward to further cementing the strong bonds between the two countries.

He said the purpose of his trip was for the Kingdom to “implement a series of relief and humanitarian projects, meet with officials in Lebanon, and extend bridges of cooperation between KSRelief and Lebanese civil society institutions.”

He added that the meetings in Beirut were part of “building strong bridges of cooperation for the benefit of refugees as well as those in need in various areas of Lebanon.”

Al-Rabeeah noted that the Kingdom was the world leader in initiating humanitarian projects and said UN figures put Saudi Arabia at the forefront of efforts to provide relief for refugees and crisis-hit people.

Al-Rabeeah, who is also a royal adviser, on Monday met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, along with religious leaders including the grand mufti of Lebanon, Sheikh Abdul Latif Deryan, head of the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, Druze spiritual chief Sheikh Naim Hassan, and Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi.

He said he would be happy to meet Lebanese President Michel Aoun if their schedules allowed.

During talks with Deryan, Al-Rabeeah stressed that Saudi Arabia was keen to support aid work in Lebanon. “We will extend our cooperation with Dar Al-Fatwa and its humanitarian, governmental and community organizations in Lebanon. I am sure that this visit will result in many programs that will serve the refugees and the needy in Lebanon and benefit everyone.”

On the Kingdom’s vision for Lebanon, he added: “Everyone is optimistic about the future of Lebanon, not just me. First and foremost, the Lebanese communities are keen to build a new Lebanon. I am also sure that friendly countries, especially Saudi Arabia, will support its reconstruction and development.”

Deryan praised “the efforts of KSRelief to heal the wounds of the needy in Lebanon and the Arab region.”

As part of his trip, Al-Rabeeah will travel to the town of Saadnayel, in the Bekaa area, to visit Syrian refugee camps and launch a UNESCO schools project to support basic education for Syrian refugee students in Lebanon.

The project is funded by KSRelief and implemented in partnership with the Kayany Foundation, headed by Nora Jumblatt.

A UNESCO spokesperson told Arab News: “The project aims to widen education opportunities and help at-risk Syrian students in Lebanon, especially at the intermediate and high school levels. It is linked to ongoing initiatives related to the education of Syrians in Lebanon in an attempt to fill the gap and complement recent efforts.”

Al-Rabeeah will be joined at the launch event by Lebanese Minister of Education Akram Chehayeb, Jumblatt, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon, Philippe Lazzarini, and director of the UNESCO regional office in Beirut, Hamed Al-Hammami.


Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

Updated 19 July 2019
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Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

  • The president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury Shagaf Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey
  • Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back”

CHRISTCHURCH: King Salman’s Hajj offer to host families of those affected by March’s Christchurch terror attacks is “something really special,” said the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Shagaf Khan.
The Saudi king has offered to host and cover the expenses of 200 Hajj pilgrims when they journey to Makkah this year.
Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey. “For some of them, it’ll be a great comfort feeling like they’ve fulfilled the obligations of being a Muslim,” he added.
Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back.”
When asked what the offer would mean for Canterbury’s Muslim community, Khan said it is part of the solidarity and support that has been shown to them since the Christchurch terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 51 people.
“Four months on … people still feel supported and they feel they’re still being remembered,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed Amir, who is working closely with the local community, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy and its Ministry of Islamic Affairs to implement King Salman’s offer, said it will be available for those who had lost family members or been injured in the mosque attacks.
Canterbury’s Muslims are “very appreciative” of the offer, added Amir, who is chairman of the Islamic Scholars Board of New Zealand.
“I’ll say with full confidence that this will be a big relief for the deceased’s families, for the victims, for all those who’ve been injured and affected,” he said.
When asked how the organization of the pilgrimage is going, Amir said “so far, so good,” but added that it has been challenging without official records to track everyone down.
He said it is an honor and a responsibility to help organize the pilgrimage, which he has been helping to plan since the end of Ramadan. “People are very excited about it,” he added.
He said he believed that the king’s offer had been made to help people’s rehabilitation after the terror attacks.
“The community believes he’s going to contribute in building Christchurch and bringing people to a normal life,” Amir added.