x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Women in Dubai to be given iftar by Filipino Muslims

Ramadan pledge to victims in shelter who fled their employers.

DUBAI // Filipino Muslims will gather at a shelter each Friday during Ramadan to break their fast with women who have fled their employers.

The Muslim Overseas Filipino Workers, an organisation of more than 1,000 members from 13 Muslim tribal groups in the Philippines and Muslim converts, will be preparing the feast at the Filipino Workers Resources Centre.

The women are at the shelter, managed by Filipino labour and welfare officials and housed at the Philippine overseas labour office in Al Ghusais, for several reasons.

Some were not paid, while others were abused, overworked or unfed.

"We'd like to spread some hope and cheer to these women," said Abulcair Capatagan, the organisation's president. "In Islam, a devoted Muslim who shares his blessings will be greatly rewarded."

The members will deliver cancer awareness talks and Ramadan lectures to both Muslims and Christians at the shelter.

The organisation has also been stocking up on dates to ship back to mosques and less wealthy Muslim families in the Philippines.

Last month, it sent back two tonnes of dates, as well as copies of the Quran, abayas, shaylas and hijabs.

They arrived in Manila this week and are expected to get to Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, in time for the expected start of Ramadan on July 21.

"There are many poor people in our province," said James Dilawangun, the group's adviser, who is from Marawi City in Mindanao. "Some hardly have enough food to put on their iftar table."

Mr Dilawangun will be back home for Ramadan, helping distribute the dates to Lanao del Sur province. The rest will be sent to other parts of Mindanao.

"Ramadan is festive and we look forward to it," Mr Dilawangun said.

"We feel great that we're helping a lot of people during the Holy Month."