Muslim charity, Red Cross raise $152k for Beirut blast relief

A local Muslim charity foundation and the Singapore Red Cross have raised $152,530 for victims of the recent massive explosion in Beirut, the Lebanese capital.

The Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF), which was set up by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in 2009, said in a statement yesterday that the amount was raised in a fundraising campaign between Aug 7 and Aug 14.

It noted that the amount was 10 times more than anything raised online previously.

The foundation added that the funds will be delivered to the Lebanese Red Cross, which is currently providing aid and assistance on the ground in Beirut.

RLAF executive director Zainul Abidin Ibrahim said there were initial concerns that the stress brought about by Covid-19 would affect the fundraising effort, so he was heartened by the generous contributions from the community.

"I am very happy to say that the community has a deep sense of concern for others beyond themselves. That is a good sign, and that is the kind of society we want to build," said Mr Zainul.

The Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah rallied students, teachers and parents to donate and raised $10,000, said the RLAF.

Unlike before, little fundraising activity took place in mosques. Since they have not fully reopened due to Covid-19, online platforms such as, MuslimSG and the RLAF website became avenues for donations.

Singapore Red Cross secretary general and chief executive Benjamin William said the blast "affected thousands and disrupted the provision of critical services, which is made more urgent due to the pandemic".

"It is critical that we all come together to extend whatever support we can to enhance the relief operations. This will also help facilitate a quick resumption of essential medical services," Mr William said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2020, with the headline Muslim charity, Red Cross raise $152k for Beirut blast relief. Subscribe