Birmingham councillor raises thousands for Gaza families during Ramadan

A Birmingham councillor has raised over £17,000 in just over two weeks, to send emergency aid to Gaza via Egypt, where he’s been helping prepare food packs for Palestinian refugees.

Cllr Majid Mahmood, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, issued a plea to family and friends to help the besieged people of Palestine and has been inundated with donations.

The funds are being used to prepare and pack much-needed food packs in Cairo, to be loaded onto a 40ft container and transported to the Rafah border separating Egypt and the Palestinian territories.

Leading a team of five men from his home city, Cllr Mahmood and his crew raised a staggering £40,000 to process and load up emergency aid to be sent directly into Gaza.

The local representative for Birmingham Bromford and Hodge Hill Ward undertook the humanitarian mission with ISRA-UK, the Islamic Relief Agency, based in Ladypool Road.

The charity has sent five truckloads of aid into Gaza since October last year, with confirmed receipt of their aid from the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs.

Having maintained empowerment projects in Palestine for 40 years, ISRA-UK presently has teams on the ground inside Gaza providing hot meals and food packs for refugees escaping Israeli bombardment.

Speaking from an aid processing facility in Egypt, Cllr Mahmood said:

“We have 1100 food parcels ready for distribution to the people of Gaza. We have 22 pallets which contain 50 food parcels each, and that’s because of the donors from Birmingham and beyond who helped contribute towards this worthwhile cause, where we are sending a ‘Convoy of Hope’ to Gaza.

“Going forward, we’re also planning more trucks because what’s happening in Gaza, the conflict is ongoing, the situation is getting worse day by day; and more than half of the population are children. They’re innocent children, they need our help so we need to do whatever we can.

“I know it’s difficult back in Birmingham and the wider UK because of the cost of living crisis, but the situation in Gaza is unprecedented. Whatever you have, small change can make a big difference for the people of Gaza. So please, during the last weeks of the blessed month of Ramadan, contribute what you can.”

Travelling to the Middle East in a personal capacity, Cllr Mahmood encouraged Muslims to contribute Zakat – an Islamic form of almsgiving – towards the aid convoys being sent by ISRA-UK during Ramadan.

Saraya Hussain, managing director at the Birmingham-based charity, said:

“We’re really moved by the effort Majid and his team have made to raise such an important amount of money in such a short time, all for an absolutely urgent call.

“The funds they’ve raised and continue to raise are being put entirely towards direct aid to Gaza to help alleviate some of the unfathomable suffering and calamity in the region.

Our hearts go out to the people of Palestine this Ramadan. We are committed to delivering as much aid as we can into Gaza and we hope the public will help us in this endeavor.”

In April, ISRA-UK will be deploying an all-women’s team to Egypt to prepare a truckload of sanitary and hygiene items for the women and girls of Gaza.

To donate to ISRA-UK’s Gaza ‘Convoy of Hope’ visit:

To donate to Cllr Majid Mahmood’s Egypt to Gaza fundraising page, visit:

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