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Tkiyet Um Ali offers food aid to 18,300 families throughout year

By Muath Freij - Jun 16,2016 - Last updated at Jun 16,2016

People break their fast at Tkiyet Um Ali in Mahatta, Amman, on Wednesday, where volunteers serve them meals every day (Reuters photo)

AMMAN — Standing by a stall stacked with meals, Sarah Al Adim said volunteering for Tkiyet Um Ali has given her a new perspective and widened her social circle.  

The 25-year-old, who works at a medical company in Amman, said that through volunteering at the charity, she was learning about other people’s lives.

“While handing out meals to beneficiaries, I saw a woman I know and I was amazed that she was living a normal life and she did not complain,” Adim told The Jordan Times.

 “This shows that she wanted to live a decent life without complaining,” Adim said, crediting volunteering with opening up her world. 

She was among 45 volunteers on Wednesday serving underprivileged families with the iftar meal, taken at sunset during Ramadan to break the daily fast. 

Lina Kefelian, the director of communications and fund-raising at the Tkiyet Um Ali, said the NGO helps around 18,300 families in need throughout the year. 

“We give them monthly boxes of food containing 22 food items. Maybe you can see there is more activity in Ramadan because there are many people who like to offer support during this particular month,” she told The Jordan Times before the iftar meal. 

Tkiyet Um Ali works to fight hunger in the community. The name tkiyet refers to facilities which provided food for the poor, a popular feature on the estates of some prominent families in Ottoman times. 

The NGO launched an initiative in Ramadan, called Zakatak Rahmah (your zakat is mercy), to collect the zakat, an Islamic tax on income, to help fund its work, Kefelian said.

“In Ramadan, we also send boxes of food and offer meals daily, enabling around 1,500 people to break their fast each day,” she noted, adding that another 1,500 people benefit from this particular service outside the capital. 

Kefelian said the charity spends around JD1 million on its food initiatives every month, adding that it provides lunch for 400 people every day throughout the year.

In Ramadan, around 45 people volunteer to help each day, and those who wish to join can sign up on the organisation’s website (  

Volunteer Ramadan Hasoah said he signed up to learn about people’s suffering, to better appreciate his good fortune and to help people in need. 

“I encourage people to take part in this campaign, especially in Ramadan, and to benefit from this experience,” he told The Jordan Times. 

Tkiyet Um Ali floats tenders before Ramadan for companies to prepare the meals, and a quality control unit monitors the standard of the food, Kefelian said.  

One of the beneficiaries, Abu Sabreen, said the initiative was positive and encouraged empathy with those less fortunate.  “It is good that underprivileged people benefit from this, and it can encourage other people to feel with us,” he told The Jordan Times. 


Abu Mohammad, who attended the iftar meal at the Tkiyat Um Ali premises in Mahatta area in Amman, said the event eased people’s suffering and gave him a chance to meet new people.  

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