PENANG, August 16, 2012 - More than 100 residents of St. Nicholas Home for the visually impaired were overjoyed to receive the visit of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) staff and students who came to break fast with them and handed them duit raya last night.
The residents there not only enjoyed the food served by the USM Islamic Centre, but also received duit raya contributed by the Centre and had the opportunity to mingle with USM staff and students who attended the event.
One of the residents, Siti, 9, said she was happy to have the opportunity to break her fast together with the other residents and visitors before going back to her hometown in Taiping, Perak to celebrate Aidilfitri.
The young orphan said, she cannot wait to show the duit raya received to her grandfather in the village, as well as sharing her experience fasting for the past one month at the St. Nicholas Home.
“I like when people come together to break fast. I also look forward to going back to my grandfather's house and eating raya cookies,'' she said in excitement even though she is not blessed with vision like other people.
Besides her, another resident, Dharma, 27 years, said although he is not Muslim but every year during Ramadan, he would not miss the opportunity to gather together to break fast with the other residents.
“I lost my parents since young and grew up in a Malay foster family before being sent to a welfare centre. Thus, the experience during the fasting month is nothing new to me and I look forward to celebrating Aidilfitri,'' he said.
Meanwhile, the Senior Assistant Director of USM Islamic Centre, Ustad Mohd. Zamrus Mohd. Ali said the event is held every year to forge closer relationships between men, besides bringing cheer to the less fortunate.
He said such programmes should be continued in the future because it not only brings joy to other people, but also raises our awareness to appreciate the blessings of Allah.
“We are indeed thankful for being able to offer help to the needy, and I will continue to pray that the blessings of Ramadan will continue to be felt in the years to come,'' he said.
During the breaking of fast, some St. Nicholas residents gave a nasyid performance. Later, the USM staff joined the residents in performing the congregational Maghrib prayers. -Text: Marziana Mohamed Alias / Photo: Mohd. Fairus Md Isa / Translation: Tan Ewe Hoe