UNHCR & Al-Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy announce the start of phase 3 of their joint initiative #30DaysofKindness, in time with the increasing harsh winter cold in the region

Mariam (44) and her family were forced to flee their home in Aleppo, Syria in 2012. Ongoing violence and airstrikes destroyed their neighborhood and gravely injured her son Mohammad (now 28), leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Today, Mariam lives with five of her eight children – Mohammad, Zakeyeh (19), Noha (13), Ali (11) and Wa'ed (5) – in an apartment in Irbid, a city in northern Jordan. The family depends on monthly cash assistance from UNHCR to meet their basic needs including rent, food and other essentials. ; Jordan is one of the countries most affected by the Syria crisis, hosting the second highest share of refugees per capita in the world. Nearly 84% of refugees in Jordan live in urban areas.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy “AIRA”, in cooperation with the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, announce the launch of phase 3 of their joint initiative #30DaysofKindness. The initiative which was launched at the start of the new year aims to support refugees and displaced persons facing the cold winter months and the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative is in line with Al-Azhar’s global mission to support the poor and needy and who fall under UNHCR’s humanitarian mandate to care for.

The start of phase 3 also coincides with the onset of severe cold accompanied with heavy rain, strong wind, low temperatures and snow that weigh heavily on refugees, displaced persons and families who do not have the minimum means to cope with the harshness of winter without adequate shelter, heating and winter clothing.

“The launch of  phase 3 of the initiative, which focuses on the importance of warm winter clothing tovulnerable families in enduring the cold weather, is driven by the success of phases 1 and 2, and the solidarity shown by the public towards those in need amidst ongoing crises, loss of decent livelihoods, and their need for moral support from everyone,” said Dr. Nazir Ayad, Secretary-General of the Islamic Research Academy.

The Secretary-General added that “#30DaysofKindness initiative is a humanitarian message that plays an important role in consolidating community solidarity. It also contributes to eliminating disparities among people, while supporting the values of cooperation, love and rehabilitation of the planet, and emphasizing values that reject discrimination and racism on the basis of race, colour or faith.”

“We are grateful to the public who have joined our call for more empathy and kindness with those forcibly displaced and in need during this cold winter season, and look forward to further advocating for the plight of the most vulnerable, facing both the harsh cold and the threat of COVID-19,” stated Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR Regional Representative to the GCC and Senior Adviser for Islamic Philanthropy, adding on that “a collective of small acts of kindness can have a lasting impact on the lives of those in need, and this is what we aim to achieve and showcase through the #30daysofkindness initiative with Al Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy.”

To encourage wide participation on social media, has been set up to allow people to join the #30daysofkindness initiative by adding their voice on this page and receiving daily messages from the Al Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy and UNHCR on how to assist refugees, IDPs and families in need at large, with shelter, food, winter clothing and livelihood development

About UNHCR:

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.

About Al Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy (AIRA):

Islamic Research Academy is an organization concerned with reviving the Islamic culture, purging it of impurities and the effects of political and sectarian fanaticism, presenting it in its original pure form and shouldering the responsibility of calling to the way of Allah with wisdom and fair preaching.