Residents are being called upon to help low-income families celebrate the upcoming Eid with joy by donating unwanted clothes, furniture or houseware.
Dubai Women's Association have begun accepting donations for their Eid Joy Fair, which will take place at the association’s hall in Deira during the third week of Ramadan.
More than 200 families benefited from the fair last year with clothes and furniture available for Dh5 per piece and the association is expecting more people to attend this year.
“We wouldn’t have the chance to buy Eid clothes for our children without the association’s great efforts and people’s donations,” said Zahra Jalali, a 27-year-old Afghan mother of five living in Al Lisaili in Dubai.
“My husband's salary doesn’t cover all our expenses as he only earns Dh4,500 a month and I don’t have a job. Life is not easy and our children have demands like any other children and sometimes we can’t meet their basic needs."
Ms Jalali said she bought clothes for her children aged between 2 and 15 last year, plus an Abaya for herself and some homewares. “I didn't pay more than Dh30 as some of the items were offered for free. We can’t afford to buy anything from the malls,” she said.
Her 15-year-old son, Sayyed-Mustafa Hassni, said the initiative is great and it reflects the generosity of the country and its people. “We appreciate their efforts, they always try to help and we look forward to visiting the fair again this year,” he said.
Another family said they would not know what to do without the association's support and help.
“We moved to the country four years ago. My husband is still looking for a job and I’m the only one who is working,” said Umm Mahmoud, a 30-year-old Syrian mother living near the Dubai-Al Ain road. She earns Dh2,000 a month by working at a nursery.
“It’s a very small amount that barely covers anything. The association helped to cover the school fees of my 8-year-old boy and we are very grateful for that. Last year, we also bought a lot at the Eid fair,” she said.
Ms Mahmoud's husband, Khaled Othman, 33, said: “We have two children and we are all living in one room that was offered by a philanthropist who didn't ask for any rent. Good people are always out there and we appreciate all the efforts that have been made to support us.”
Shaikha Al Sabousi, the event’s organiser, said they look forward to receiving more donations this year to cover the needs of more families.
“The fair is in its fourth edition and is continuing to prove that people are always willing to make a difference to the lives of low-income families. We are proud of that and we always encourage people to donate unwanted clothes, furniture and any other items they think might be useful and in good condition,” said Ms Al Sabousi.
“We also invite traders to donate some of their unwanted stored goods.”
Ms Al Sabousi said that they also try to preserve the dignity of those who come to them for help.
“We don’t want them to feel that they took the items for free. Instead, they buy them and that makes a big difference. We offer the items at very cheap prices that don’t exceed Dh5, and with the money we help other people who maybe can’t afford to cover tuition or medical fees, or other similar situations.
“We should all come together to spread happiness and joy to the hearts and lives of others, especially during the festive session.”
For donations, the association can be contacted at 04 8325 655.