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9 Inspiring Muslims Around The World Who Have Helped To Fight COVID-19

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Amira Rahmat  •  May 09, 2020

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[Updated 17 June 2021] Unified to help communities and do their part in battling the spread of the COVID-19, inspirational Muslims from all walks of life have been doing their part across the world. It's extra heartwarming to hear that there has been a surge of community responses and ordinary individuals doing extraordinary acts to help fight the pandemic. We hope the extra mile that these 9 Muslims and Muslim groups are going will continue to inspire all of you out there to make a difference. P.S. Check out these 11 acts of kindness around the world during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

1. Professor Jackie Ying from A*STAR

Credit: Kayamkulam Muslim Association on Facebook Professor Jackie Ying, who heads the NanoBio Lab at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) in Singapore and her team are some of the scientists on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus. This team of researchers have developed a rapid test that can diagnose a COVID-19 infection in as little as five minutes, and it would be the fastest test currently available if approved!
Credit: NanoBio Lab on Facebook  After being given the challenge of coming up with rapid tests for the virus, the team led by the Chinese-Muslim revert has been working tirelessly for six weeks to develop this useful diagnostic tool. As compared to traditional lab tests which can take two or more hours and requiring the use of special machines, this test involves swabbing samples from a patient and fed into a portable device. It then uses an extremely rapid method, called ‘Cepat’ to multiply the genetic material, and gives the result in just 5 to 10 minutes. 

2. Fatimah Mohsin, Singaporean fashion designer

Fatimah Mohsin has recently been sewing face masks for the country’s frontline health workers. Starting out as a visual merchandiser and make-up artist, the now-CEO of the Wedding Gallery and her team had sewn more than 300 masks!  In her Instagram post, she said it was her way to express her gratitude and appreciation for the frontline workers for always protecting them. Small acts such as hers are so heartwarming to hear as it continues to inspire other ordinary individuals out there to make a difference.

3. Students at the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU)

 Beyond the medical profession, individuals such as university students have found innovative ways to help tackle the spread of COVID-19. At the Islamic University in Uganda, a group of students have come up with a completely hands-free hand washer to curb the spread of the pandemic. This inspiring project of community service spearheaded by two students, Lucky Mwaka and Mansoor Muhammad, will help promote the practice of safe hygiene, as well as save water in the process! Also, the innovative use of solar power and sensors of the device makes it environmentally friendly.  Their idea is aimed at utilising technology to minimise contact with potentially contaminated surfaces in low-income settings. The method involves dispensing water without having to open and close the taps with the use of sensors and can be installed on any water container. Currently, the team is working hard to develop at least six more of the devices to aid those in the countryside as well. P.S. Did you know that maintaining good hygiene is one of the 8 tips to boost your immunity during the coronavirus outbreak?

4. Areema Nasree, British nurse

Credit: Covid-19 Healthcare Worker's Remembrance Page on Facebook  Frontline healthcare workers across the world have risked their lives day after day to protect people from the pandemic. One of the countless heroic nurses is Areema Nasree, who originally came from Pakistan to move to Britain. Starting her career as a housekeeper in Walsall Manor Hospital, she then worked to gain her nursing qualification and had since worked for the NHS for 16 years. Described fondly as having a big heart, the  healthy nurse then fell ill and passed away due to the virus in April 😢

5. Hassan Akkad, a BAFTA-winning Syrian filmmaker in London

A Syrian photographer and filmmaker has temporarily changed careers to being a hospital cleaner. This selfless individual dedicated his time to disinfecting COVID-19 wards at his local hospital as soon as the illness hit the country.  In 2015, he arrived in the UK as a refugee, documenting his journey which went on to win a BAFTA. He decided it was a way to help give back to Britain during his refugee crisis and as a tribute to the heroic NHS services. From being a teacher in Syria to being a refugee to winning a film award and now assisting to fight COVID-19, selfless individuals like Akkad continues to inspire us all.

6. Hanna Alkaf, Malaysian writer

In Malaysia, author Hanna Alkaf launched a movement and platform www.kitajaga.us , a platform which connects community groups and services to keep them alerted to urgent needs within the community, amidst the coronavirus. Among the organisations that have been onboard this movement are Mercy Malaysia, Women’s Aid Organisation and The Lost Food Project. This initiative was also taken to social media with the hashtag #KitaJagaKita (We help us) to encourage Malaysians to come together.  You can lend a helping hand and find out more from their website. Here are 10 other things you can help out with if you're in Malaysia!

7. Sadio Mane, Liverpool player

Many football players have used their success to help people, not just for social media to spread awareness on the dangers of the coronavirus, but also monetary contributions. Among the first to step up, is Muslim Liverpool football player, Sadio Mane who generously donated more than US$50,000 to the health authorities to help tackle COVID-19 in his home country, Senegal.  A video of him also circulated on social media, urging his fellow people in his homeland to take the coronavirus situation seriously. He shared with his followers advice on preventive measures such as washing hands the proper way, as well as asking the communities to adhere strictly to instructions by the authorities. 

8. Asiyah and Jawad, grocery shop owners in Falkirk, Scotland

In Scotland, heroes don’t always wear capes, badges or uniforms. Since weeks ago, queues have been forming outside the couple’s grocery shop, where free care packages full of masks, gloves and sanitisers were donated for free. These are items that are desperately needed by healthcare workers. The Muslim couple Asiyah and Jawad have been winning hearts amid the crisis with their inspiring acts that includes donating personal protective equipment (PPE) to health workers, food to the elderly, and even Easter eggs to local children. 3,000 masks were donated and 1,000 food parcels had been delivered to vulnerable people around their community, and they plan to continue giving out free food parcels, even when the lockdown is over. They said they were inspired to look out for their community when they witnessed an elderly woman crying outside the supermarket as she could not afford the necessities due to the tightening of the lockdown.

9. Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre, Birmingham, UK

 After the news that healthcare workers in the UK were lacking in personal protection equipment (PPE) and that many of them had died from the virus, about 350 volunteers of Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham started producing PPE. The mosque also volunteered its cold storage facility to store bodies of victims as other facilities in the city have been overwhelmed while waiting for the victims' burials. But that's not all, the mosque also delivers food to those in need, with help from other organisations. This initiative from the mosque to rally Muslims and non-Muslims together to help out is definitely an amazing thing 😊 These people from different walks of life have looked around for different ways to help out their country, as the world is facing the most unprecedented challenge in generations. And no act of kindness is considered too small! Do share with us if you know of any extraordinary individuals who went out of their ways to help in the fight against COVID-19! In the meantime, take care and stay safe 🤗