The launch of the Yemeni initiative “Just Like One Body” initiative, in solidarity with Malaysian families affected by flood disasters

On a Yemeni night overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and loyalty to the people and government that opened their hearts and airports to Yemenis, and under the generous patronage of the Yemeni Embassy in Malaysia, the Supervisory Committee launched the Yemeni initiative “ Just Like One Body – Ibarat Satu Jasad” for the relief of Malaysian families affected by floods in the state of Pahang. A public orientation event was organized through video conferencing technology (Zoom) on Monday night, January 18, 2021 AD, and was attended by a large number of Yemenis. The event was a community contribution, positive action and an expression of gratitude and appreciation for Malaysia’s positive stance on the Yemeni issue and the Yemeni people.

This event took place despite the suffering experienced by the people of Yemen at home and abroad as a result of the brutal war that made Yemen experience the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. In spite of the competence that Malaysia shows in managing such crises, the Yemenis – who have historical links with the Malaysian people- launched this initiative in solidarity with the people of charity and loyalty, emphasizing the fact that no matter how much time went on – the Yemenis would never forget those who extended the hands of friendship and charity to them.

At the opening ceremony, which started with the national anthem of the Republic of Yemen, the Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen, Dr Adel Muhammad Bahamid praised the event and those in charge of it and described it as a touch that has its positive repercussions even though it is a symbolic initiative, wishing it success that will be added to the balance of the previous initiatives set up by the Yemeni community in Malaysia. His Excellency the Ambassador saluted the Yemeni spirit, which, despite all suffering, has the value and sense of living, since this initiative does not come only in the context of giving back to the Malaysian government and people, but rather it is a duty driven by brotherhood and humanity. The embassy also expressed its support for the initiative and called on all members of the community to cooperate and support; each according to his abilities.

In his speech, the head of the initiative and the Yemeni community, Dr Abdullah Al-Hajjaji, greeted the supervisory committee, the executive committee, the initiative’s partners and all supporters and audience. Al-Hajjaji also presented the idea of ​​the initiative, its goals and the beginnings of its formation, and the field visit of the representatives of the Yemeni bodies, especially the Yemeni Students Union in Malaysia, to the state of Pahang. At that time, we decided that it was essential to implement this symbolic initiative that aims to deliver a message to the Malaysian society and government that we are a positive community who share their joys and sorrows. We wanted to show that we are not a community that takes and does not give. Therefore, this initiative came in accordance with the principle of “Shall the recompense of goodness be other than goodness?” Al-Hajjaji also valued the efforts made by the Malaysian government to the Yemeni people, whether by granting them the advantage of social residency in Malaysia since the brutal coup in Yemen, or the relief efforts it provided to the Yemeni people at home and elsewhere. In the conclusion of his speech, the head of the community urged the people of Yemen to be good ambassadors and to provide all that is positive about Yemen. The least thing that can be done is to support such initiatives in all possible ways.

On behalf of the supervisory committee, the well-known businessman A. Ahmed Bazaraa said that the initiative was a symbolic and humanitarian stance that expressed the positive interaction of the Yemeni community with its surroundings, and also called on everyone to interact with the initiative and support it.

Professor Dr Dawood Al-Hadabi, a member of the initiative’s supervisory committee and deputy assistant president of the Islamic University of Malaysia, confirmed that the interaction of any community with its surroundings is clear evidence of the positivity and vitality of this community, as it does not consider itself an isolated part of the society in which it lives. Professor Al-Hadabi recalled the legacy of the first Yemeni generation who came to the countries of Southeast Asia. They became an integral part of this society, as the early ancestors were preoccupied with education (guidance) and comprehensive economic development as the two main pillars of any rising society. The Yemeni community today in Malaysia is following the path of its ancestors, albeit to a small extent, so the focus is on quality, not quantity. Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Guard yourselves against the Fire (of Hell) even if it is only with half a date-fruit (given in charity). What can half a date do? It can’t satisfy someone’s hunger. It is not about quantity. It is the idea, case, spirit and feeling that penetrate the hearts and bodies Al-Hadabi stressed that, with such initiatives, Yemenis prove that their decision is positive, regardless of the trials. He also expressed his happiness at the Yemeni community’s transition from isolation to participation, and from negative to positive attitudes, and called for more cooperation and cohesion in the fields of charity.

Dr Salwa Al-Ghashem, a member of the initiative’s supervisory committee, referred to the positive role of the Yemeni community and the Student Union since her arrival to Malaysia in 2005, and how this role has enriched different cultures and behaviours in universities and Malaysian society. Out of the sense of loyalty, giving and cooperation towards the Malaysian community, this symbolic initiative comes to support the affected Malaysian families. She also called for the continuation, encouragement and support of such positive initiatives.

Member of the Supervisory Committee, Professor Rashid Al-Maqtari, Advisor to the President of Lincoln University and Vice Dean of the College of Medicine, expressed his complete happiness with the Yemeni initiative, which came as a beautiful and symbolic response to the people who stood with the Yemenis in time of hardship and opened their countries to them and was a blessing of aid and support, like the Malaysian and Egyptian communities. Al-Maqtari noted that the initiative proved that the Yemenis are a good cloud wherever it rains. He also valued the positive response of Yemeni academics in Malaysia to the initiative with the aim of showing the bright face of Yemenis, and the fact that the Yemenis, at adversity, exchange loyalty and giving according to their capabilities.

Member of the Supervisory Committee of the initiative, Dr Fatima Qahtan, thanked the audience for their presence and interaction, and noted that it is not surprising that Yemeni communities have had such initiatives throughout history. Dr Fatima stressed the important role of Yemeni community leaders and elites in crystallizing, strengthening and developing such a positive trend, reaching the level of constructive participation and responsibility. She indicated that the initiative is not only a symbolic contribution to support the Malaysian people in their plight, but rather an expression of the Yemeni personality’s ability to regain itself and unleash its capabilities in the current war conditions. Dr Fatima called on Yemeni people to change some of the convictions related to the belief that they live today in a diaspora that keeps them in the circle of isolation and feelings of sadness. Instead, they should look at such conditions as an opportunity to learn and build a new experience that will positively reflect on the future of Yemen.

Former advisor in the cultural attaché in Malaysia and member of the supervisory committee, Mr Iqbal Al-Ils, stated in his speech that this initiative is one of the leading efforts made by the Yemeni community which took the initiative to engage early in the Malaysian society instead of isolation. This fact is stressed by the evidence of the spread of Islam in Malaysia and Southeast Asia and the second wave of Yemeni immigration – as Al-Als called it – which took place under normal circumstances in search of knowledge when the Republic of Yemen sent a large number of its children to seek knowledge in Malaysian universities where dozens of them today have become distinguished academics and teachers. Counsellor Al-Als wished the initiative success, luck, and excellence in its implementation on the ground.

Poet and media man; Majid Al-Sam’i recited two poems, one of which summarized the story of the Yemeni, who came to “Malacca”. It won the approval of the audience. The event was moderated by Muhammad Arafat Al-Ammari. At the end of the event, the supervisory committee presented a summary report of the initiative and what has been implemented so far.

The initiative targets 902 Malaysian families, 3,191 individuals, and 38 relief centres in the state of Pahang. Its activities include providing relief supplies to those affected, cleaning their homes, and spreading the spirit of compassion and solidarity with them. It is worth noting that the floods in Malaysia are considered one of the regular natural disasters that occur every year, especially during the monsoon season, and the eastern coast of the peninsula of Malaysia is the most vulnerable to floods. The Malaysian villagers were recently evacuated while others swam in deep waters and the number of those forced to leave increased to more than 28,000 people with four people at least dead.

The initiative “Just Like One Body – Ibarat Satu Jasad” is a Yemeni initiative sponsored by the Yemeni Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and implemented by the Human Foundation for Relief and Development, and with the participation of the Yemeni community in Malaysia, the Union of Yemeni Students in Malaysia, the Union of Yemeni Refugees in Malaysia, and Al-Tawasul Development Foundation. All Yemenis in Malaysia are welcome to support the event through the online donation portal of the Insan Development Foundation

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