Muslims help Newark homeless as part of Ramadan

Newsday.com

October 16, 2006

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ About 800 needy people received food, clothing, hygiene kits and blankets as part of an Islamic charity program over the weekend.

Volunteers from the California-based Islamic Relief group handed out supplies to homeless and other needy people outside a housing project in Newark on Saturday and in New York on Sunday. The event took place during the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims are encouraged to donate to the needy.

Abigail Suarez was one of about 800 who attended the Newark event to get supplies and free medical screening.

“I know my health needs to improve and at least now I know how much more I need to pay attention to stay alive,” she said.

Similar programs were held in more than two dozen U.S. cities.

“We have reached out to countless homeless and have seen faces filled with happiness; that is the best thing about my job,” said Yousef Abdallah, operations manager of Islamic Relief’s northeast office. “We need to do more domestic projects. It’s about what we face right in front of us: Love thy neighbor, and here we are.”

Mayor Cory Booker helped volunteers unload truckloads of supplies.

“This is a way to fix what people say about Muslims,” he said. “This is what I want to see, the community working together.”

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj–muslims-homelessa1016oct16,0,6767521,print.story?coll=ny-region-apnewjersey

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