In partnership with Human Appeal International (UK) and UK Islamic Mission, Mosaic Associates held an event on 14th of May to raise awareness about recent events in Syria. Almost one hundred people crammed into Committee Room 15 in the Houses of Parliament, to learn more about the growing, appalling humanitarian issues and the amazing work of many UK charities helping those in need.
The event, hosted by Shabana Mahmood MP and chaired by Mosaic Board member and BBC Head of Religion Aaqil Ahmed, first heard from His Excellency Mazen Kemal Homoud, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the UK. The Ambassador explained to guests the staggering number of displaced Syrians now in refugee camps in Jordan, one of which now constitutes the country’s third largest city. The Ambassador made it clear that Jordan would always welcome refugees from Syria, which they saw as their clear moral duty. The Ambassador paid tribute to the work of Human Appeal and the UK Islamic Mission. He also paid tribute to HRH The Prince of Wales for his visit to the King Abdullah II Refugee Camp in Jordan in March.
The meeting then heard important contributions from Othman Moqbel, Chief Executive of Human Appeal International, and Dr Muhammad Arif of UK Islamic Mission, about the excellent work of these charities in providing relief in Syria and the surrounding region.
Finally, the meeting heard emotional first-hand accounts from Syria. The meeting heard from Tariq Jahan, the Pride of Britain Award-winning hero whose appeal after his son’s death is credited with bringing peace to Birmingham during the 2011 riots, who had just returned from an aid convoy to Syria. Tariq, clearly still very moved by what he had seen on his trip, recalled the suffering of an 11 year-old girl in Syria who told him: “We no longer have any tears.” The meeting also heard from Syrian Doctor Dr Mohammad Alhadj Ali who, despite having lost many friends in the crisis and seen his country devastated, said: “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
Mosaic’s National Director Jonathan Freeman commented: “We’ve all been profoundly moved by what we’ve heard today. Mosaic’s core objective is to connect young people with experienced professional mentors, but we also have an obligation to engage with the wider issues that impact those we support. The Prince of Wales, Mosaic’s founder, took the opportunity to raise awareness of the Syrian humanitarian crisis; we at Mosaic felt it only right to play our modest part in raising awareness of the issues but also the hugely important role being played by Muslim and other communities in the UK to address these.”