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  • Ridge Michiels

Iftar for everyone thanks to Yassine from Mahara

Yassine Abdellati (student in applied engineering and newly-elected student representative)

“We were extremely fortunate. The weather was on our side. If it had been very hot, fasting would have a lot more difficult. Although I have to admit that I really missed my morning coffee. Now I had to resort to other things to stay awake!”

At Mahara, the student club that I joined this year, we wanted to do something for these people. Our national president and vice-president thought that it would be a good idea to prepare iftar boxes for people who are suffering financially during this period. And there are plenty of them, because not only do they have financial difficulties meaning they can’t afford the ingredients for their meal, but many people may not leave their home to do their shopping. Mahara wanted to make a special effort to help all these people.

The media were really interested, from the very first week. Our initiative was mentioned in a lot of newspapers and even on TV, in De zevende dag. This really boosted morale. And the donations also increased, which is a good thing, because this initiative, which we decided to call ‘Ramadan from my kot’ is entirely reliant on donations. People are very generous during Ramadan. We were incredibly pleased to receive so much support. We owe it to our many donors that we were able to help two hundred families already.

The boxes contain enough food and drink for two to three days for a small family. When the boxes are ready, we load them into our bus and then we start delivering them to people. Last weekend, we drove to an asylum centre in Overpelt. We personally hand over the boxes to the people who need them. Seeing that smile on their faces? That’s why we do it! It may seem like a small gesture to us, but it can mean everything to them. Because you never know what these people have been through.

To me, Ramadan is all about perseverance. I stay up until late at night and get up early in the morning to make good use of my day. I combine my studies with my job as a pizza courier. It goes without saying that I also find myself drooling when I see all those good pizzas, but I wait until the time has come for me to eat. And then the reward tastes twice as good!”

You can follow Mahara on Facebook and on their website.

Want to make a donation or need more information? You can find it on this website.


This article was written for, an online platform that was created in times of corona at the request of the University of Antwerp.

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