Moved by Gaza children's suffering, Dubai kids give up entire savings to help

These seven- to 13-year-olds say their hearts break as they see youngsters their age being rushed to hospitals and losing their families in the brutal war

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Reuters
Reuters

Published: Fri 3 Nov 2023, 5:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Nov 2023, 5:41 PM

Nine-year-old Ayaan Saboor Mendon has been good at saving his pocket money, and over the past six years, he was able to keep nearly Dh8,000 — an amount that can easily buy him whatever he wants. But about a week ago, he decided to give it all away.

"When I learnt about innocent people dying in Gaza, I couldn't stop thinking about them," said Ayaan, a student of North London Collegiate School.

He used to know nothing about the war, but through discussions with his parents and private tutor, he learnt about how thousands of children and families are suffering in Gaza.

“I saw several children that had been hurt and rushed to hospitals in the middle of the war. I felt that I was so privileged," said Ayaan.

"I can't do much," he said, "but I can surely help a few of them". Ayaan said all he had was his savings and, without a second thought, he told his parents he wanted to donate the money.

More than 3,600 Palestinian children were killed in the first 25 days of the war between Israel and Hamas, according to Gaza's Health Ministry. They were hit by airstrikes, smashed by misfired rockets, burned by blasts, and crushed by buildings.

'My heart goes out to children, families'

Emaan Ali, a 13-year-old in Dubai, has been following the conflict closely. “I feel for the children and families suffering in Gaza,” said the Grade 9 student of Winchester School in Jebel Ali.

Determined to make a difference, she decided to break her piggy bank and donate the money to the Emirates Red Crescent Society.

“I have been reading about the conflict for a long time, and my heart goes out to the children and families suffering. What I can do at the very least is donate my piggy bank money to children there who are facing real hardships,” said Emaan.

The teen also vowed to contribute to a relief drive at her school, where canned food, clothing and other essentials are being collected.

Seven-year-old Hassan bin Ali from Dubai once saw his father and elder brother buy relief items. Upon finding out that all the goods were for the victims of the Gaza war, he urged his brother to go back to the supermarket and buy more using his money.

Hassan has pledged his savings to continue helping those who have been struggling to survive the hardships wrought by the brutal war.

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