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Mall visitors help child continue her education

Al Ghurair Centre’s Omniyati initiative fulfils three residents’ wishes

Image Credit: Supplied
Hajar, the 11-year-old daughter of Sudanese expatriate Abeer Khafaga.
Gulf News

Dubai: A Dubai mother woke up to her wish being fulfilled thanks to a Ramadan campaign which will now help her 11-year-old daughter continue her primary education.

Visitors who participated in Al Ghurair Centre’s Omniyati initiative _ which is Arabic for ‘make a wish’ — have contributed to making the wish of the Sudanese mother and two other residents with different needs come true.

The mall’s visitors were invited to participate in the initiative by purchasing a Dh25 voucher, which gave them access to special activities organised at the mall and a chance to help someone fulfil a special wish. Al Ghurair Centre used the amount to donate it to the special Omniyati cause.

People were then asked to nominate a friend or a relative who they believe should have a special wish come true.

As one of the winners in the initiative, Abeer Khafaga, 40, couldn’t hold back her tears when her plea for financial aid to support her daughter’s education was sanctioned.

Due to continuous financial constraints of her husband, she said she had to pull her daughter out of school, as a result of which she missed an entire academic year.

“We were afraid that we would have to put a complete stop to her education,” said the emotional Sudanese mother, whose husband has been bedridden with partial paralysis after suffering a near-fatal heart attack about two years ago.

To sustain her family’s day-to-day expenses, Khafaga — mother of two — has been taking up temporary jobs on a regular basis, and is now actively pursuing a full-time opportunity.

“This campaign has helped my family in more ways than one can imagine — it truly was a blessing in disguise. And for this very reason, I would like to convey my undying gratitude to Al Ghurair Centre for the opportunity,” she said.

Through the Omniyati initiative, Abeer will receive monetary support which will help continue her daughter’s primary education.

Support to family

Another Syrian expatriate, Leen Zidan, wished for financial relief to support her family back in her home country and she also had no idea her wish would be fulfilled.

“My husband and I have been struggling to make ends meet for the last few months, and we have been unable to support my family back home,” said the tearful 25-year-old homemaker.

“This financial aid couldn’t have come at a better time for me, I will finally be able to bring a smile back on my family’s faces, who have been enduring very tough social and economic conditions. My mother and sister are one of the most important people in my life and this initiative has come as a true blessing for us all,” she said.

Umrah with mother

The third winner was an Egyptian expatriate, Noha Elhabashi, 24, who couldn’t contain her joy when she was informed that her wish to travel with her mother to perform Umrah has come true.

“I have always prayed for a chance to visit Makkah with my mother; however, due to financial constraints, I have never had the chance to do so. And now I can’t believe that I have won such a beautiful gift, especially after Ramadan,” she said.

“As a Muslim, this is the best gift my mother and I could ever ask for. I am truly lucky that I live in such a benevolent city and moreover, I am forever grateful to the Omniyati initiative for supporting my wish,” she added.

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