• Hebron

  • Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 4:15:11 PM
    Last Update : Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 4:15 PM

The Tikkiyya Ibrahimiyya... An 800-Year-Old Refuge for the Hungry in Hebron, West Bank

(Arab World Press) -  For nearly 800 years, the Tikkiyya Ibrahimiyya Foundation in the city of Hebron, the West Bank, has been providing people with free food throughout the year, making it a haven for families in need, especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Hazem Mujahid, Director of Tikkiyya Ibrahimiyya, said, “These services which are provided continuously throughout the year and increase during Ramadan, have a significant impact in fulfilling the meaning of human solidarity and enhancing human relations. The rich come here by the will of God Almighty to donate money regularly and do not stop throughout the year.”

He explained, “We usually serve approximately 2000 to 2500 meals outside Ramadan. The quantity increases in Ramadan to 4000 to 5000 daily meals served. These enormous expenses mean that in Ramadan alone the entire cost reaches almost two million [Israeli shekels – approximately 55,000 dollars].”

The charity, which gets its name from its proximity to Prophet Abraham’s tomb, has contributed to Hebron’s reputation as ‘the city where no one is left hungry,’ with thousands of families flocking to the Tikkiyya to receive their free meals during the month of Ramadan, when Muslim abstain from eating from dawn until dusk.

The Tikkiyya’s kitchen is equally famous for its ‘Prophet Abraham’s soup’, also locally known as ‘al-deshesha soup’ or ‘al-geresha soup,’ which is made of crushed wheat and fresh meat.

Wisam al-Kurdi, head of supervision and support at the Tikkiyya, said, “During the holy month of Ramadan, we cook all day for visitors of the Tikkiyya Ibrahimiyya. It is heartwarming for us to see [those in need] at the Tikkiyya. I also say that the happiest are those who donate to the Tikkiyya Ibrahimiyya or any other place that provides those in need with charity and deeds of kindness.”

Mohsen Zaloum, one of the donors to the foundation, said that the reason the charity attracts so many donations lies with its management system.
He explained, “We have transparency in receiving the ingredients needed for cooking, in addition to the distribution process and the diligence of the workers, which confirms that what is happening at the foundation is excellent and that there are many options available.”

Supervised by the Islamic Endowments Directorate in the city of Hebron, the Tikkiyya enjoys a religious and social status among the city’s residents, as it was established in the 13th century to commemorate the tradition of the Prophet Abraham in feeding the poor and needy.

“We all come to the Tikkiyya – it is normal, and we have no shame in it. Every person is in need and each person is in difficult circumstances, even employees and workers,” said Kheder Shabanah, one of the beneficiaries of the foundation.

He continued, “There are between 50,000 to 60,000 unemployed people. How can they manage their affairs and get their food? There is no money, so you see them coming to the Tikkiyya Ibrahimiyya and there is no shame or wrong in that.”

Charitable donors from Hebron and philanthropists inside and outside the Palestinian territories all contribute to the foundation ensuring that the needs of the beneficiary families who live near the tomb of the Prophet Abraham are met.