Maranaos in Lanao Sur’s Ditsaan Ramain receive food donation from rich Muslim countries

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MARAWI CITY — AS RAMADAN or the holy month of fasting and prayer among Muslims will start in the evening on April 13, humanitarian group Islamic Relief Worldwide Philippines (IRWP) distributed food to at least 500 Maranaos on April 11 in Ditsaan Ramain town, Lanao del Sur province.

Wearing their facemasks and bringing their identification cards, the Maranaos lined up to receive 20 kilos of rice and other food items.

IRWP humanitarian program coordinator Ronald Cabalquinto said the food they were distributing were “sadaqah” and “zakat” or donations from other rich Muslim countries.

“It is intended to supplement their preparation for iftar (meals eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan),” Cabalquinto said, adding that they hope the food they distributed would be enough to support the first 10 days during Ramadan.

“The donated food is a big help to my family,” reacted 16-year-old Abdulbasit Hadjisalic whose father is already dead and his mother jobless.

Hadjisalic said his two sisters have been working in other places to support them in their daily needs.

Isnaira Umpar, who claimed the food donation for her family also expressed gratitude saying that they will have enough for two weeks, and her father would be able to take a break from selling “dodol” (a Maranao delicacy made from sticky rice, flour, coconut milk and brown sugar).

“Napakasaya po kasi biruin mo napakalayo nitong lugar nadatnan kami ng pagkain (We are happy because we received food even if we are living in a far place),” Umpar said.

Meanwhile, Ditsaan-Ramain mayor’s Executive Secretary Rakim Mama said the donated food also helped the local government in an effort to reach out to more than 3,000 families for the observance of Ramadan.

“This is a big help to the people’s need for food in times of difficulties, we know these are difficult times especially with the challenges we face during pandemic,” Mama stressed.

Nevertheless, Imam Samsodin Alamada reminded Muslims that aside from food, there is also a need to be ready physically and mentally to sustain themselves in the entire month of Ramadan. (Divina Suzon)

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