Kindness spreads as Middle East scrambles to contain deadly virus
Volunteers across the region have extended a helping hand to those affected by Covid-19
By Rayhan Uddin
As of Sunday, the number of confirmed global cases of Covid-19 has surpassed 300,000, while the death toll nears 13,000, according to Reuters.
The outbreak has led to the disruption of travel, employment, education, entertainment and many more aspects of people’s daily lives.
In the Middle East and North Africa, cases have been confirmed in nearly every country.
Despite the unprecedented upheaval, many in the Middle East are fighting the pandemic in the best way they know how: with acts of kindness.
Middle East Eye takes a look at how people in various parts of the region are donating their time, money and expertise to help those in need during this time of crisis and uncertainty.
Distributing food and supplies
In Iran, more than 21,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported thus far, making it the worst-hit country in the Middle East.
A person dies every 10 minutes from Covid-19 in the country, Iran’s health ministry on Thursday, as the death toll continues to rise, with more than 1,600 deaths as of Sunday.
Iran’s mosques are now closed for prayers, but some have taken on a new purpose.
Volunteers have turned some mosques into makeshift factories, where they sew surgical masks and prepare food and resource packages for families in need.
نحن الأخوين هيثم ومؤمن عامر أصحاب مطعم جراند هاوس، قمنا بتجهيز الكادر الطبي والصحي لمستشفى البتول في المدينة بوجبات طعام مجانية، لدعمهم أثناء وقت بقائهم ليلاً في المستشفى لمراقبة الحالات المرضية وحالات الاشتباه بالكورونا.
كلنا اليوم مسؤولون عن حماية مدينتنا من كورونا.
Translation: Iraqi national football team player Emad Mohammed will donate his hotel – al-Amda – in Karbala to the Department of Health, in support of its efforts to secure places for quarantining patients infected with coronavirus. Are they any people or civil institutions that carried out similar work?
In Egypt, a number of actors, singers and footballers joined a campaign to financially support families affected by the country’s coronavirus shutdown.
Egyptian celebrities are challenging each other to sponsor families and cover household salaries amidst the coronavirus shutdown
Helping stranded tourists
As the number of Covid-19 cases increases, more and more borders are being shut, and, as a result, both international and domestic travel have been severely restricted.
Tourists are especially feeling the impact of the fast-changing policies, as countries scramble to contain the spread of the virus. And some of them are experiencing a different kind of local hospitality.
In the Palestinian town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, locals provided food and drinks for US tourists who are placed under quarantine.
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