Aabdeen Ummah speaks to Islamic Relief Sri Lanka

Aabdeen Ummah, 63, is a mother-of-six from Puthukulam in the Vavuniya district of Sri Lanka. For the last three years, she has received an Islamic Relief Qurbani meat package.

In 1990, Aabdeen and her family were forced to flee their home because of the violence of the civil war. As they were fleeing, her husband was shot and killed.

After spending seven years at temporary accommodation in Kalgamuwa, Aabdeen returned home under a resettlement scheme. Since then, Aabdeen has struggled to make ends meet – she explained in 2012, “ I did not receive adequate assistance for resettlement and it was very hard to recover my life. But there is just no way you can have peace of mind unless you are living in your home, on your own land.

“We celebrate Eid with our traditional customs.  My eldest son bought me a cotton sari, which I wore on the Eid day. I bought new dresses for my grandchildren from money I had saved for Eid and my grandchildren and I went to the local mosque to offer Eid prayer.

“Then my children and their families visited me and we enjoyed the day by having delicious food with meat dishes, and by giving the children sweets and fruits.

“At dusk, I went to visit a neighbour with my daughter in-law where we shared memories that we will never forget.

“Having my children here to celebrate with me helps us to share our happiness and strengthen our family. We all enjoyed the day, with the Qurbani meat provided by Islamic Relief.

“My daughter helps me to prepare special dishes with meat.  I save some of the meat for the following days, as there is enough for several days.

“Normally we have three meals a day with rice, curry and vegetables. My favourite is rice with a drumstick curry, which is fairly cheap in our region.

“But a few times a month we do go hungry, and when we don’t have enough food, we feed the children with whatever we can.

“We had a poultry farm with 30 hens, but they died from a virus outbreak, because we didn’t know the symptoms of the illness.

“We would like to convey our thanks to Islamic Relief supporters for providing Qurbani meat to families like ours. The assistance was timely and has helped us to enjoy Eid celebration to a great extent, alhamdulillah.”