Thousands of residents kickstarted their Saturday morning on a positive note by gathering for a noble cause of compassion and unity.

Gathering as early as 8am at Qalaat Alremaal hall on Dubai-Al Ain Road, volunteers joined hands to contribute to making a difference in the lives of those affected by war in Gaza.

Residents came together to pack relief packages launched by Dubai Cares and the Emirates Red Crescent Society aimed at supporting and bringing relief to the victims. This is a campaign in line with the UAE’s approach to humanitarianism, 'Tarahum - for Gaza', which was launched in the country last week to provide relief to Palestinians affected by the war in the Gaza Strip.

The campaign is supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the World Food Programme, and in coordination with the Ministry of Community Development.

For our brothers and sisters

It was not only adults who participated, but children and seniors who rolled up their sleeves and got to work. “We are here for the brothers in Gaza. It’s just a small way to help them,” said 7-year-old Aziz, who came along with his mother.

Lebanese expat Asmah Rahman brought her two daughters to the event. “We are new residents in Dubai. We were actively involved in such events in Malaysia. It was my daughters who informed me about this campaign."

“We couldn’t wait for this day. I am very happy we could make a small contribution in our early days in Dubai. There are so many nationalities here who got together for the same cause and residents here are so compassionate and generous,” said Rahman, who resides in Silicon Oasis.

We are packing hope

Mariam, a resident of Sharjah said: “These products are much more than supplies. We are packing hope, unity, and a belief that our small actions can make a big difference in the lives of those in need.”

As many as 10 stations were set up to pack relief materials. “Our focus is to pack non-perishable food items which can be consumed directly, and eight stations are allotted for it. The other two stations are for women and children essentials like childcare products,” said Sultan Al Shamsi, assistant minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs.

“These contributions are from, many Emirati NGO’s, residents, and a few charitable organisations in the UAE. These essentials are being packed by the compassionate residents of the country and we are thankful to them for their precious time,” said Al Shamsi.

The volunteers are aiming to prepare 25,000 relief packages in two days. The next campaign by the entities will be held in Abu Dhabi on October 22, Sunday.

Before sealing the boxes with essentials, a quality control team checks every kit to make sure it's good to go. These relief boxes are transported to the Emirates Red Crescent warehouse and prepared for shipment. “As we get a green signal from the international authorities, the relief material will fly to Egypt and then cross the Raffa border into Gaza,” said Al Shamsi.

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