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South Africans raise R10m to #SAveSyria

banking-detailsJohannesburg – South Africans have raised more than R10 million in humanitarian aid to help desperate refugees in Syria, particularly in the beleaguered city of Aleppo.

A pledge-line by the five-day old NGO #OperationSA raised R10 028 953 within five hours for the #SAveSyria campaign.

The #SAveSyria campaign was launched at the weekend following calls to assist victims in Aleppo and other parts of war-torn Syria.

The pledge line on ITV channel (DSTV 347) and several radio stations saw almost 800 callers pledging.

The biggest single pledge was R2m from the Polokwane Muslim Trust Welfare Fund.

Scores of young children, some donating their spending money, also called in.

The money is to be distributed to seven local charities who are doing humanitarian work in Syria. They are the Al-Imdaad Foundation, Africa Muslims Agency, Jamiatul-Ulama SA, Jamiatul-Ulama KZN, Al-Quds Foundation, Muslim Judicial Council and Islamic Relief SA.

Social activists Yusuf Abramjee, Yaseen Theba and Catherine Constantinides are among those behind #OperationSA.

“South Africans and foreigners opened their hearts. The donations will go a long way to ease the pain and suffering of Syrians,” said Yusuf Abramjee from #OperationSA

“We witnessed Ubuntu in action yet again. The response from the public has been amazing and we will ensure that every rand raised is used for humanitarian relief such as food, blankets, medicines and shelter,” added Abramjee.

Yaseen Theba from #OperationSA said the pledge line was a “major success”.

“The phones did not stop ringing. The shocking images from Syria also prompted many callers to donate. The over R10m raised in such a short period of time shows we are a caring nation,” said Theba who directed the Call Centre Operations.

The public can continue donating on the website www.operationsa.org and donations can also be made via Whats App and SMS: 072 3 99 99 99.

Catherine Constantinides said: “Thank you, thank you, thank you. South Africans never stop to amaze. They dig deep into their pockets and they always make a difference. We have hearts of gold. I am proud of my colleagues at #OperationSA, the many volunteers and sponsors. Well done also to the media for supporting the cause.”

Abramjee said a delegation was planning to visit Syria soon “to look at conditions and the relief work underway.” The Al-Imdaad Foundation is co-ordinating the visit.

#OperationSA will continue to work locally and internationally by engaging with partners, donors and communities “to develop projects that bring relief, hope and dignity to some of the most vulnerable people.”

Source

Over R10-million pledged for #SAveSyria by #OperationSA

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Over R10-million pledged for #SAveSyria by #OperationSA

banking-detailsA pledge line by the five-day old NGO #OperationSA to assist with humanitarian efforts in Syria raised R 10 028 953.00 within five hours.

The #SAveSyria campaign was launched at the weekend following calls to assist victims in Aleppo and other parts of war-torn Syria.

Social activists Yusuf Abramjee, Yaseen Theba and Catherine Constantinides are among those behind #OperationSA.

The pledge line on ITV channel (DSTV 347) and several radio stations saw almost 800 callers pledging.

The biggest single pledge was R2m from the Polokwane Muslim Trust Welfare Fund.

Scores of young children, some donating their spending money, also called-in.

The money is to be distributed to seven local charities who are doing humanitarian work in Syria. They are the Al-Imdaad Foundation, Africa Muslims Agency, Jamiatul-Ulama SA, Jamiatul-Ulama KZN, Al-Quds Foundation, Muslim Judicial Council and Islamic Relief SA.

“South Africans and foreigners opened their hearts. The donations will go a long way to ease the pain and suffering of Syrians,” said Yusuf Abramjee from #OperationSA

“We witnessed Ubuntu in action yet again. The response from the public has been amazing and we will ensure that every rand raised is used for humanitarian relief such as food, blankets, medicines and shelter,” added Abramjee.

Yaseen Theba from #OperationSA said the pledge line was a “major success.”

“The phones did not stop ringing. The shocking images from Syria also prompted many callers to donate. The over R10m raised in such a short period of time shows we are a caring nation,” said Theba who directed the Call Centre Operations.

On-line pledges are still coming in and the public can continue donating on the website www.operationsa.org

Donations can also be made via Whats App and SMS: 072 3 99 99 99.

Catherine Constantinides said: “Thank you, thank you, thank you. South Africans never stop to amaze. They dig deep into their pockets and they always make a difference. We have hearts of gold. I am proud of my colleagues at #OperationSA, the many volunteers and sponsors. Well done also to the media for supporting the cause.”

Abramjee said a delegation was planning to visit Syria soon “to look at conditions and the relief work underway.” The Al-Imdaad Foundation is co-ordinating the visit.

#OperationSA will continue to work locally and internationally by engaging with partners, donors and communities “to develop projects that bring relief, hope and dignity to some of the most vulnerable people.”
#SAveSyria banking details.

AL IMDAAD FOUNDATION
FNB
BR CODE 220325*
ACC No.62102373206
Ref: AIF20819
Aleppo-Zakaat/Lillah/Sadaqah etc.
*Must mention Zakaat, Lillah etc.
Send Proof to info@operationsa.org

ALL DONATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE ABOVE REF NUMBER.
Twitter: @OperationSA1
FB: www.facebook.com/operationsa

Instagram operationsa1

Website: www.operationsa.org

END

Enquiries:
Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203

Yaseen Theba
Cell 064 4 000 000

South Africans unite to urgently assist #Aleppo #Syria

MEDIA STATEMENT

SUNDAY 18 December 2016

#OperationSA

South Africans unite to urgently assist #Aleppo #Syria

A group of South Africans have formed #OperationSA and its first task is to urgently raise money for humanitarian efforts in Syria.

Among those behind the initiative, amongst others, are social activists’ Yusuf Abramjee, Yaseen Theba and Catherine Constantinides.

Abramjee said “an urgent decision was taken at the weekend to make Aleppo and other parts of Syria the first project. We cannot sit back and see the suffering continue. Innocent men, women and children are being slaughtered and thousands are crying for help.

“Many local and foreign charities are assisting but we all need to DO much more. There is an urgent need for food, medical supplies, blankets, mattresses and shelter.

“We decided to co-ordinate the collection drive and #OperationSA will distribute the funds to credible charities who are working on the ground as a matter of urgency,” Abramjee said.

ITV on DSTV channel 347 will host a pledge line/telethon on Tuesday evening from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.

Several radio stations and media organizations will take the broadcast live: they include Souk Islam Channel (You Tube), Radio Al Ansaar, Radio Islam, Channel Islam InternationalVoice of the Cape, Sirius FM and Deen TV.

“We are delighted so many NGO’s and media organizations have joined hands. We stand united for a common purpose – to help those in need.”

#OperationSA is supported by various organizations throughout the country including Islamic Relief SA, The Al Imdaad Foundation, Jamiatul Ulama SA, Jamiatul Ulama KZN, Awqaf SA, Crescent Lifestyle, Africa Muslims Agency, Al Quds Foundation, Caring Women’s Forum and The Two Lights Foundation.

Several other humanitarians and NGO’s are also on the working committee including community leader Andy Mashaile, Al Firnaz Patel from Crescent Lifestyle, Zaheera Bham Ismail from the Caring Womens Forum (CWF), attorney Yousha Tayob, banker Amman Muhammed and Raeesa Rhemtula.

Deputy CEO of Awqaf SA Mikaeel Collier from Cape Town, businessman Ridwaan Kalla and attorney Raeesa Rhemtula from Polokwane are also on the Working Committee.

“We are hoping to raise a few million rand,” #OperationSA added.

Beneficiaries will include, amongst others, the Al Imdaad Foundation, Islamic Relief SA, Africa Muslims Agency, Jamiatul Ulama SA and Jamiatul Ulama KZN. A number of smaller charities are also on the list.

#OperationSA is a non-profit organization whose sole mission is to reduce human suffering.

“We respond to natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies and poverty locally and abroad. We are non-sectarian and non-political.

“Ubuntu – This African proverb reveals a world view that we owe our selfhood to others, that we are first and foremost social beings, that, if you will, no person is an island, or as the African would have it, ‘One finger cannot pick up a grain.’

“Ubuntu is, at the same time, a deeply personal philosophy that calls on us to mirror our humanity for each other.

“We encourage willing participation, warmth, openness, and personal dignity by partnering with communities, governments and corporate organizations. These relationships let us harness complementary expertise and networks to ensure that each community gets the best response available.

“People are powerful when they are heard,” said #OperationSA

“By engaging with partners, donors and communities, #OperationSA fosters skills such as transparency, accountability and open public debate — the cornerstones of effective civil society. And a strong civil society supports good governance, the critical force behind long-term development and stability.

“We believe that dynamic partnerships are critical to solving challenges. Our partners – from corporations to foundations to entrepreneurs – are committed to developing and supporting socially responsible initiatives that build stronger communities in the developing world, while enhancing business and development goals.

“Together, #OperationSA and our partners can help build a world of opportunities.”

Abramjee and Theba were involved in #OperationHydrate earlier this year which saw millions of liters of water distributed to communities in need.

Theba said: “With the support across the board, we are going to make our mark again and assist those in need. Let’s all work together and assist when and where we can.

“Going forward, we also going to launch a programme to help individuals and charities in need across SA,” he added.

On-line pledges are already being taken for the Syrian relief. Almost R250 000 was pledged within 24 hours.

Pledges for #SAVeSyria can be made on-line:

www.operationsa.org

Banking

AL IMDAAD FOUNDATION

FNB

BR CODE 220325*

ACC No.62102373206

Ref: AIF20819

Aleppo-Zakaat/Lillah/Sadaqah etc.

*Must mention Zakaat, Lillah etc.

Send Proof to info@operationsa.org

ALL DONATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE ABOVE REF NUMBER.

Twitter: @OperationSA1

FB: www.facebook.com/operationsa

Instagram operationsa1

Website: www.operationsa.org

Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203

Yaseen Theba cell 064 4 000 000

#ABRAMJEEONHAJJ #HAJJ2016 THE DOCUMENTARY

“It makes the book come to life” – the Documentary based on Yusuf Abramjee’s photo journal #HAJJ2016 – #ABRAMJEEONHAJJ. Now, Paul Tilsley’s film, available here for viewing. All rights reserved, but you may reload this onto your social media site provided you inform abramjee.com.
A Competent Artistes television production. Order the book, and discuss broadcast / viral opportunities for the documentary, from abramjee.com

Yusuf Abramjee presented #Hajj2016 to Sports Minister Mbalula

Social activist Yusuf Abramjee presented a copy of his coffee table book #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula & his wife Nozuko today. One copy was presented to their daughter Nonkululeko (10) for St Stithians College Library.

Hundreds of books are to be donated to libraries and proceeds of the book are going to charity. The book has 400 photographs taken from a camera phone of the pilgrimage.

image1image2

Mercy of Hajj crosses cultures

 / 8 November 2016, 4:41pm

Filled with at least 400 photos, former journalist Yusuf Abramjee’s new book, #Hajj2016 A Journey, documents one of Islam’s five pillars that millions of pilgrims worldwide long to undertake.

Muslims are obliged to perform the Hajj – a sacred pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia – at least once in their lifetime, if they can afford it and are healthy enough to do so.

Abramjee did his first Hajj this year and this afternoon he is scheduled to launch his book, an A3-sized landscape hardcover, at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town.

“My Hajj was the journey of a lifetime. It has changed me,” said Abramjee, reiterating what many have concluded before him after returning from the five-day ritual.

He said the journey had offered him a “massive spiritual boost”. It also gave him hundreds of photos as he used his mobile phone to document every step of the way.

Abramjee’s friend Yaseen Theba convinced him to compile the photos into a coffee-table book and took on the project of completing the book in a few weeks. All sales income will be donated to an NGO, Awqaf SA, which funds Muslims who cannot afford to perform the Hajj.

Reflecting on his recent travel, where he was among almost two million Muslims from around the world, Abramjee said the experience was a “multinational fellowship of faith”.

“I met pilgrims from across the globe: Fiji, Barbados, Australia, America, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, UK, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique and Zambia among others,” he said.

“This was wholly contrary to the popular Western Islamophobic narrative of Muslims being terrorists. There was so much care and compassion shown in the Hajj, flying in the face of such bigotry and prejudice.

“Yes, we live in a world of turmoil. So, here we pray for global peace. Islam is under attack and misconceptions about our religion are rife.

“But the love we saw here on Hajj, cutting across colour, race, class, culture, gender lines clearly negates the bigoted media narrative.”

Abramjee said he had had “some trepidation to begin with”, considering fatalities due to stampedes in recent years on hajj.

“I had heard horror stories from other South African pilgrims,” said Abramjee.

“Thankfully, my experience was nothing of the sort. It was a seamless experience.”

Extending themselves while on Hajj, Abramjee and other South African pilgrims raised funds to launch a feeding project for less fortunate pilgrims in Mecca. This is also documented and shown in Abramjee’s book.

“South African pilgrims rallied together to raise funds from home to buy food and water for almost 12 000 needy pilgrims.

“It was a small gesture that breathed life into the spirit of unconditional charity that underpins our Abrahamic tradition,” said Abramjee.

Among Abramjee’s Hajj highlights was performing a “religious tradition that goes back several centuries in time including the prophets Adam and Abraham”.

“The Hajj is all the more poignant and emotional experience when you realise that… Hajj forces pilgrims to become deeply reflective,” said Abramjee.

“Another miracle for me is the sacred well of zamzam (holy water found in Mecca), which still exists within the precinct of the Grand Mosque.

“Millions have drunk its blessed water for generations. There seems no end to it.”

Abramjee adds: “Another highlight, and perhaps the most cathartic for me, was the symbolic pelting of the devil, a rejection of all evil and a submission to God Almighty’s will.”

#Hajj2016 A Journey has already received praise and feedback from a host of prominent voices, including former public protector Thuli Madonsela, who said the book “opens a window into an inspiring and insightful spiritual journey that is enlightening about the essence of true Islam”.

Ahmed Kathrada, an anti-apartheid activist imprisoned alongside Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, said the book “will not only evoke memories of spirituality, but will show unity in diversity”.

Meanwhile Abramjee, who used to head the newsroom for multiple radio stations as well as a national anti-crime initiative, was soon busy with his efforts as a social activist after returning home from the Hajj.

Ironically, he took up a battle against the Saudi Arabian government’s announcement that it would increase its visa fee for local pilgrims to almost R10 000.

“We are continuing the fight and we hope the Saudi government will review it,” said Abramjee ahead of his book launch.

Chocolate thieves nabbed

img-20160622-wa003_32698Two men will appear in court after a truck was hijacked in Kempton Park on 22 June.

According to Yaseen Theba of Vision Tactical Armed Response, the Nestle truck was reported stolen by a tracking company on the morning of 22 June and its signal was picked up in the Killarney, Yeoville and Houghton areas.

Hours later, the missing truck was recovered on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 3rd Street in Killarney. Theba said the contents of the truck had been offloaded and only some wrappings of the stolen chocolates remained in the truck.

“Our guys were able to locate the truck in less than 30 seconds of the call because of high density in those areas,” said Theba.

In a statement, Metro police’s Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar confirmed the arrest of two suspects.

Minnaar said, “Metro police officers discovered chocolates at a house in Lenasia Ext 9 on 25 June. These chocolates were suspected to have been removed from the Nestle truck found abandoned in Killarney on Thursday.

“More information led officers to a house in Kew where some more chocolates were found, as well as a machine which was used to change the expiry date on chocolates and on Red Bull cans.”

Two suspects have been charged with theft and hijacking.

“The men will likely appear in court on 27 June for the theft of chocolates worth thousands of rands,” said Minnaar.”

The one suspect will appear in Lenasia Magistrates’ Court and the other in Wynberg Magistrates’ Court.