By Noor Hani Salem
Close to 700 people attended the PCRF benefit iftar on Sunday, July 14th at Greenfield Manor of Dearborn. PCRF aims to help children in need of medical treatment come to the United States to be treated. Currently, they have 13 children in different cities including Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles. The reception began at 8:00pm as attendees took their seats in the banquet hall. The actual event started immediately at the iftar time, 9:08pm. As athan for Maghrib went off, guests broke their fast on the water and dates already placed on the table. Many prayed and returned to their seats to enjoy iftar. As people ate Brother Hani Ayad gave a short speech. He reminds everyone about the benefit of giving charity, and the immense reward we are promised as Muslims. Charity expels sin and places heavy deeds on the scale, he said.
Palestine Childrenâ€™s Relief Fund opened the Detroit Chapter last September and hosted an iftar to raise funds to bring children in need of desperate treatment. They helped a young boy Muath, who lost his leg, and his mother. He was treated for a free artificial leg and cared for by the Detroit Chapter of PCRF.
Itâ€™s been over ten years with the PCRF at work. The Detroit Chapter showed remarkable results within just two years. As Steve Sosebee, the co-founder and President/CEO of the PCRF stated, they just built a hospital by Palestinians, for Palestinians. He lost his wife, Huda Al- Masry, to leukemia in 2009 and watched her struggle against her disease. Heâ€™s been aiding many in need of treatment both in Ramallah, the West Bank, as well as Ohio. With the help of many Palestinians, they were able to raise 3 million dollars in two years and opened up the hospital. This was completely a Palestinian thing, he said. We didnâ€™t ask for help from other countries, we did it on our own. This is one of the few hospitals available in the area.
He welcomed to the stage two young boys who just came from Gaza. Ahmed, a 14 year old boy, was protesting and got shot in the leg with a missile. He lost his leg and is currently on crutches. He spoke a bit of Arabic but was pretty shy standing before the audience. The other boy, Dawud is only 12. He got hit in the head with a missile and suffered skull and brain damage. Both were brought by the PCRF to receive free treatment here in the United States. Steve reminds everyone that there are thousands of young children with very similar stories as Ahmed. With the help of donors we could treat as many as possible. The Detroit Chapter of PCRF put together another successful iftar, and according to one volunteer, theyâ€™ve sold over 200 of the tickets two days prior to the iftar Sunday. Hard work paid off well, and they could now continue their mission.