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Iraqi diaspora raises money for internally displaced before Eid Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Iraqi diaspora raises money for internally displaced before Eid

Iraqis, like much of the Muslim community, eat freshly slaughtered meat on Eid [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 September, 2016

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The Iraqi diaspora is raising money for sacrificial meat during Eid, so refugees displaced inside the country may still enjoy the holiday.

The Eid holiday has motivated members of the Iraqi diaspora to raise money for the internally displaced in Iraq who have been affected by the Islamic Sate.  

Muslims traditionally slaughter and eat animals for the feast of Eid al-Adha and activists have been trying to raise money so that impoverished refugees in Iraq don’t miss out.  

There are three million IDPs in Iraq with the number expected to rise to five million after the upcoming Mosul campaign.  Many are living in dire conditions in refugee camps, having lost their homes and incomes.  

Activist Mohammed Marsoumi says that so far he has raised enough money for 100 sacrificial lambs, adding that money is still flooding in from friends around the world.  

He told The New Arab that through their relationship with ranchers, they are able to fetch a good price and buy twice the number of animals than an individual could.  

Mounir Hatem, a prominent Iraqi expat and activist says that the leaders of the campaign are widely trusted, although he didn’t rule out the existence of some fraudsters taking advantage of the generous spirit of Iraqis.  

Hatem, who left Iraq more than seventeen years ago describes the task of raising money as the "noblest" he has ever undertaken.  

He added that the Iraqis distributing the funds from inside the country are active in the field of humanitarian work and have already provided assistance to displaced persons.

Displaced people in Baghdad confirmed to The New Arab that they have been receiving gifts and meat in the run-up to the Eid holiday.  

Aqidi Jassim, who lives in Alexanzan camp in Baghdad says that he has been receiving many enquiries from from Iraqis living abroad who want to help.  However he said that simply donating food sometimes has a "limited outcome".

"[IDPs] have many different needs.  Many families suffer from diseases, needing surgery that costs a huge amount of money for example, so we are trying to convey that suffering to those living inside and outside the country," he said.

"The Eid is an opportunity to show the suffering of the displaced, as many people visit and contact us in this time."

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