Last Updated on 29th May 2020
Atta-ul-Naseer, Missionary and National President Jamaat Greece
In March 2020, Greece was one of the very first of the EU countries which decided to enforce a social lockdown. People were asked to stay at home except for 7 important matters for which police permission was needed prior to leaving home. Mosques, Churches and all other religious places were closed until further notice.
The country’s 10 to 11 million population started a new way of life and stayed at home. This caused many workers to lose jobs as their employers had to close their businesses and they were only employed on daily wages. Those who were part of the legal employment system were given a limited relief by the government and those who are forced into illegal labour had no other support. Both these groups need attention and support.
As far as members of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya are concerned, alhamdolillah, due to the kind-hearted and dynamic leadership of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, they had someone to take care of them. Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Greece stayed in constant contact with all the members with the help of auxiliary organisations and on a personal basis. Those who were in need were provided relief with food items or financial aid.
However, the humanitarian services of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya are not only limited to its members. I had personally contacted nearly all my local friends and contacts to ensure them that they could approach me if they face any difficulty in this time or if they see anyone else facing any difficulty.
A day or two later, the Chairman of Humanity First Germany contacted me, although he did not mention it to me, but I have no doubt that he was following the general directives given to him by our beloved Huzooraa. He asked if we could assist the public and refugees with hygiene items by public distributions. I spoke to the liaison officer from the Ministry of Public Order who told me that we are not allowed to distribute anything in public.
As this could not be done, I proposed to Humanity First Germany that if the budget allows, we can assist the Ivorian community, whose president had sent me an email requesting assistance for his 125 community members including vulnerable women and children. This project was very kindly approved. As there was restriction in Greece for only two people being allowed to travel in a car at a time, I asked Sadr Sahiba Lajna (my wife Khalida Ahmad Sahiba) to assist me in preparing the initial food and hygiene pack.
As every community has their own choices when it comes to food, so it was important to get the opinion of the president of the Ivorian Community, Mr Moussa Sangare. I requested him to meet us at a supermarket. All three of us were able to prepare the initial packs for families and single individuals.
On the same day, Sadr Sahib Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Greece, Aqeel Ahmed Sahib joined me for assistance in purchasing and transporting the food and hygiene items. As the community’s Nissan Micra could not carry over 1000kgs of items at once, we divided this task over a few days.
All the items were brought to the Salaat center where along with two other Khuddam volunteers, Raheel Ahmed Sahib and Daud Ahmed Sahib, 75 food and hygiene packs were prepared. As some items could not be delivered due to them being non-dry, we decided to provide a voucher for a local supermarket.
Once everything was ready, on 3 May 2020, we loaded the family packs weighing 22-23kg each in two cars and delivered them to the families. The next day, on 4 May, we invited all the single individuals to come to the Ivorian Community’s office where they could collect their packs. The volunteers sacrificed 410 man-hours in total to complete this task. May Allah accept the donations and sacrifices of everyone who assisted in this project.