Call for continued help to families of prisoners

DUBAI - Many charitable organisations in Arab countries have discontinued help to prisoners because of shrinking financial resources, speakers at the third Gulf Charitable Activities Conference said here on Monday.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 9:31 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:55 PM

Experts in the field of charity work from seven Arab countries are attending the conference, which began on Sunday.

The conference focused on financial, administrative and legislative issues related to charity work in the Gulf countries.

Presenting a paper on ‘Charity work to assist needy families of prisoners under the Shariah and the legal perspective’, Dr Mohammed Abu Al Wafa, Professor of Law at the University of Emirates, said the condition of the prisoners’ families had not attracted much attention from social scientists.

“Field studies prove that these families suffer socially and economically. This is mainly due to the insufficiency of government funding. The society is obliged to help the families of prisoners to live a life free from want and according to the acceptable standard of living.

“This would not only benefit these families but it indirectly assists in the rehabilitation of prisoners. Such a gesture is more likely to change their attitude towards society and social values,” he said.

Dr Mustafa Mahmoud, an economic researcher in Egyptian Saudi Financial Bank, in his paper on the role of Islamic charities in alleviating poverty, suggested establishing a common Islamic bank in the Gulf for helping the poor. He said, “Such a bank can effectively contribute to the alleviation of poverty through a system of interest-free loans.”

Dr Al Mahmoud recommended the integration of the Islamic developmental and charity NGOs to come up with projects with funding by the proposed Islamic bank that could give the poor a steady income. This bank could offer realistic solutions to the problems faced by the poor in the Islamic and Arab world.

Dr Mohammed Al Majjali, Dean of Shariah at the University of Jordan, presented a paper on the role of relief foundations in developing international relations and dialogue between civilisations.

He spoke about the dangers of the capitalistic system around the world which classified and divided people and the role of relief operations in decreasing poverty.

“There are huge relief operations by the West, but at the same time we find that they themselves cause most of the disasters around the world,” he said.

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