'We are here for them': UAE residents send love to Gaza with huge boxes of donations, volunteer drives

Across the UAE, communities and humanitarian groups have teamed up with Emirates Red Crescent to raise funds and collect baskets of relief


Angel Tesorero


Nasreen Abdulla

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Photo by Angel Tesorero
Photo by Angel Tesorero

Published: Fri 20 Oct 2023, 12:18 PM

Last updated: Sun 22 Oct 2023, 3:00 PM

UAE residents are showing a heartening outpouring of support to provide relief to the Palestinians caught in the conflict in Gaza Strip.

The UAE's 'Tarahum - for Gaza' (Compassion for Gaza) campaign, launched last week, is seeing an overwhelming response from numerous public and private institutions, community organisations, families, and individuals.

In fact, the website of The Big Heart Foundation nearly crashed on Thursday after it posted a call for volunteers to pack emergency relief parcels. The required number of volunteers was reached within hours of the TBHF advisory's posting on social media.

TBHF's packing initiative will take place on Sunday, October 22, at Expo Centre Sharjah as part of the Tarahum for Gaza programme run by the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC). TBHF has also called for volunteers at the in-kind donation drop-off sites across Sharjah.

Moved to donate

Mallgoers are moved to help, too, as a popular shopping centre group teamed up with the ERC for the donation drive.

Huge donation boxes — with a simple call to ‘make a contribution today to support those impacted in Gaza’ — are strategically placed near hypermarkets and visible areas inside the malls.

People buy baskets of groceries like canned goods, baby diapers, feminine hygiene productes, rice, pulses, biscuits and other essential items that will all go towards those affected by the war in Gaza.

Khaleej Times saw one resident making her own share. She was six months pregnant and she said: “I’ve seen and read the news about how thousands of children are affected by the war. I’m expecting my first child in a few months and I couldn’t help but show my empathy to the young ones who are in need of immediate relief.”

‘We are here for them’

Dubai resident Sana will be driving over 50km to participate in the TBHF initiative along with her sisters and friends. “In light of the current dire situation, I have developed a deep sense of responsibility toward the people in Gaza,” she told Khaleej Times.

“By volunteering for this cause, I believe I can contribute with my time and resources. We are hoping to provide much-needed support to the people in Gaza during these challenging times and let them know that we are here for them.”

More initiatives across the UAE

In Dubai, Alserkal Avenue has partnered with the ERC to raise funds and gather essential in-kind donations from October 20 to 30 at Warehouse A1.

In addition to this, the space will run an informal gathering called The Tree School over the weekend where groups and individuals will share their life experiences.

There will be readings, talks, songs, poems, food, and collective activities. Visitors are encouraged to bring anything that they would like to share, in an effort to build bridges and learn from each other.


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