Today • • 02 March

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An Unbelievable Umrah Experience

For refugees, they spend their entire lives away from home, sometimes more harrowingly, separated far from their families. For orphans, they have experienced this loss from the death of either one or both of their parents. For both these vulnerable groups, life can be a traumatic experience, especially for young children who have their whole life in front of them. 

But for this particular group – Palestinian refugee orphans – they have an even more traumatic experience of life. Without a place to call home, they are also without the love, protection, financial and psychological support of a complete family.

With this in mind, Global Ehsan Relief’s Umrah for Orphans programme aims to aid the mental and spiritual healing of these vulnerable children. More than just sending these refugee orphans to Umrah, it could be a journey that changes their life forever. 

During our team’s last Umrah for Orphans programme in 2020, Azlan shared how the experience had been for him and the orphans that he had the pleasure of meeting.

How was your experience doing Umrah with Orphans? 

It was a memorable journey going to Umrah with the orphans, especially being together with them from Jordan all the way to Saudi by bus. The trip itself took around 33 hours including all the breaks for prayers, meals and customs. During the trip, we got to know these orphans better and bond with them. As the only participant from Global Ehsan Relief, it felt as if I was a childcare teacher *laughs*

Have you done Umrah before? If yes, what was the difference for this trip? 

Yes, I’ve performed umrah twice on my own before this trip. It was really different. Performing umrah alone was already so tough and tiring. Imagine having to guide 400 orphans while performing umrah. It was hectic but at the same time I find it so rewarding.

How much impact do you see the orphans had while being there? 

I feel that this umrah trip for the Syrian Refugees/orphans is a really special one for them. As a refugee, they had no passports, visas etc. They had no idea that they would be able to leave their country and even perform umrah in Makkah. With Global Ehsan Relief’s help, this was made possible.

Any unforgettable stories that you have from the trip?

As a videographer tasked with filming a special Umrah for Orphans documentary, I managed to gather a number of stories from the orphans but there was one particular story that I can never forget.

That day, most of the orphans had already completed their Umrah and we were ready to go back to the hotel and rest. Before we returned, quite a number of orphans approached me and asked if they could perform a second Umrah as soon as possible. I was confused as I thought we were only performing one Umrah and that’s it. I started asking why these orphans were so eager to perform a second Umrah. Are they not tired?

Finally, I found out from one of the orphans that all of them wanted to perform a second Umrah for their late parents. Most of their parents died in the war and this was an opportunity for the children to make du’a for them.

How were the orphans like before and after the Umrah? 

Before the Umrah trip, these kids were not opening up and only talked among themselves. They were also running around and behaving like any child would.

As we reached the end of the trip, I started seeing these kids becoming more friendlier and behaving very well. They were very grateful that they were brought to Makkah to perform Umrah but at the same time they were sad as they don’t know when will be their next time visiting the holy mosque again.

Can you imagine the reward of sending an orphan to Umrah? You can help us turn this into a reality by contributing however much you can to our Umrah for Orphans programme and obtain this reward. 

Be the person who gives their wealth and aids an Orphan to perform two Umrahs; one for themselves and the other for their deceased parent. As well as providing food, water, education, medical care and welfare for their daily needs, donate today to send a Palestinian orphan on a blessed journey to Mecca to perform Umrah.

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