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Gift of the Givers Gaza Head ‘Paid the Ultimate Sacrifice’

Gift of the Givers Gaza Head 'Paid the Ultimate Sacrifice'

Ahmed Abbasi, head of Gift of the Givers in Gaza, remembered at an interfaith memorial service in Cape Town

Cape Town, [Date] – Ahmed Abbasi, the dedicated head of the Gift of the Givers office in Gaza, was remembered at an interfaith memorial service at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on Sunday evening. The solemn gathering, attended by at least 400 people, including faith leaders and government officials, paid tribute to Abbasi’s commitment to humanitarian work and the tragic circumstances of his passing.

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According to Gift of the Givers’ Western Cape project coordinator, Ali Sablay, Abbasi and his brother, Mustafa, lost their lives to a missile while returning from their morning prayer. Abbasi, described as a “gentle and loving” person, played a pivotal role in various aid initiatives, including setting up a women and children care centre, establishing desalination plants, and supplying medicines to hospitals.

Sablay emphasized Abbasi’s unwavering dedication, noting that despite the option to relocate, he chose to stay with his family, stating, “He could not leave the people behind. Unfortunately, he paid the ultimate price.”

The service, led by Reverend Michael Weeder with a sermon by Reverend Allan Boesak, gathered individuals from diverse faiths. Megan Choritz, representing South African Jews for a Free Palestine, expressed condolences and support for Gift of the Givers. Choritz affirmed the organization’s history of providing aid in moments of crisis and reiterated their commitment to speaking against any claims that this conflict represents Judaism.

Gift of the Givers’ founder, Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, conveyed gratitude for the memorial service in a pre-recorded message, acknowledging Abbasi’s ordinary yet special role within the organization. Sooliman had previously described the dire situation in Gaza, emphasizing the challenges faced by its residents due to the lack of exit routes and safety plans.

In response to Abbasi’s tragic death, Gift of the Givers backed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to refer members of the Israeli government to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Sablay underscored their support for political parties advocating the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, characterizing the situation not as an act of war, but as an act of genocide.

The memorial service, filled with hymns, songs, and poetry readings, provided a space for mourning and reflection as individuals from various backgrounds came together to honor Ahmed Abbasi’s humanitarian contributions and the sacrifices made in the pursuit of providing aid to those in need.

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