Ramadan Village raises $72.5M to support Palestine

…Pres Ali says genocide in Gaza must stop

President Dr Irfaan Ali has sounded renewed calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, where he said the “first publicly-televised genocide” is taking place before the world.
He made these remarks on Saturday evening at the “Qiyaam Lailatul Qadr” event held at Ramadan Village – a month-long exhibition being hosted at the Muslim Youth Organisation Ground in Georgetown, where some $72.5 million in donations were raised to provide immediate humanitarian relief for the people in Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The symbolic cheque of $72.5 million raised at the Ramadan Village was handed over to the UN Resident Coordinator to Guyana, Yeşim Oruç, who received the donation on behalf of UNRWA

The night’s activities, held under the theme “A Night of Prayer for Global Peace, Guyana and Palestine”, included several prayer sessions, a special Islamic programme and an on-the-ground donation for Palestinians displaced and affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
During the event held on the 27th night of Ramadan, President Ali spoke of the importance of charity on Laylat Al Qadr, which is the holiest night of Ramadan. It is described as the Night of Power, since it is believed to be the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed.
“This is a historic night for Guyana and Guyanese… These resources were raised from every single community across our country. They were raised in small numbers and in large numbers, but they were raised with love and charity. They were raised with the Guyanese spirit,” he posited.
The Head of State went on to reiterate calls for a ceasefire in Gaza – something which he had done on several international stages, including at the United Nations and the UN Security Council (UNSC) as well as the Caribbean Community (Caricom), where President Ali is currently serving as the Chairman.
“This is genocide! It is the first publicly-televised genocide in the world. It is nothing short of genocide and it must stop. It must stop without conditions.
“In our government, at the UN, would always have a paragraph to speak about Palestine and injustice in other places in the world… As a government, our charity is not only in what we do to advance humanity, our charity is in our policies, our charity is in our words, our charity is in our speech and this is what Islam teaches… Guyana and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government has always been principled on matters like these,” the President stated.

A section of the gathering at Saturday’s event at the Ramadan Village

In addition to calling for a ceasefire, the Guyana Government back in February had pledged US$150,000 towards the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in support of Palestinians displaced and affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
Sunday marked six months since the October 7, 2023 attack by Hamas on Israel, which has retaliated with an onslaught of violence that has persisted since thus leading to the senseless loss of civilian lives, destruction of property, and displacement of persons in Gaza.
Based on international reports coming out of Gaza, approximately 33,175 Palestinians have been killed and another 75,886 wounded – including some 13,000 children.

Meanwhile, the $72.5 million raised on Saturday evening, which did not include donations made directly into the bank account that was set up, was handed over to the UNRWA, which is the primary humanitarian agency in Gaza, with several million people depending on it for their daily survival.
The symbolic cheque was handed over to UN Resident Coordinator Ye?im Oruç, who received the donations on behalf of UNRWA at the Ramadan Village.
Speaking at the event, Oruç said: “I am humbled to be able to join you in making my own personal Zakaat al fitrah [charitable donation] on this night of reflection and prayer. And I am further honoured to have been asked by His Excellency the President, and Sheikh Moeen al-Hack, Director of CIOG (Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana), to facilitate this generous donation to UNRWA, from the people of Guyana, to help alleviate the appalling human suffering now occurring in Gaza.
“UNRWA was established by a UN General Assembly Resolution. It is the backbone of the humanitarian operation in Gaza. No other entity has the capacity to deliver assistance at the scale and breadth that the people of Gaza urgently need. Professional humanitarian workers at UNRWA provide food, water, medicine and shelter to Palestinian people, and the organisation’s work now is more essential than ever.”

Ramadan Village
The inaugural National Ramadan Village was organised by the CIOG, the Guyana Islamic Trust (GIT), the Muslim Youth Organisation of Guyana (MYO), and the Government of Guyana.
Saturday’s hosting of “Qiyaam Lailatul Qadr” – A Night of Prayer for Global Peace, Guyana and Palestine” – was held on the final weekend for the National Ramadan Village
Lailatul Qadr is the night when Muslims believe the Quran was first sent down from heaven to the world and also the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). It is described as better than a thousand months of worshipping. (G8)