Teenager joins peace mission to Iraq


  • Nation
  • Monday, 14 Jul 2003

BY SUSAN TAM

KUALA LUMPUR: Given his age, one would expect teenager Musab Umar Thabil to be caught up with fast cars or the latest trends in music, but this 18-year-old has decided to grab the opportunity to join a peace mission to Iraq to aid the needy. 

“With this experience, I would be able to inspire other young people to take part in humanitarian causes and perhaps set up an NGO (non-governmental organisation) on my own in the future to help the unfortunate,” he said yesterday. 

“I am looking forward to the trip to experience the conditions faced by the Iraqis after the war and to learn about their sufferings.”  

Musab, who was waiting for his O-Levels examination results, was inspired to help the Iraqis after watching the war coverage. 

“This type of mission is a chance of a lifetime to help other people.”  

INSPIRED TO HELP: Musab (back, right) with other members of the mission, (back, left) Nor Hashim Idris, (front, from left) Azlan Muhammad Shariff, Normah Sulaiman, Czarina Abdullah and Sharifah Aminah Alkhared. - STARpic by Azlina Abdullah

Musab is the youngest member in a team of six bound for Iraq today under the Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia banner. 

He said not many young people were interested in joining such missions. The elder of two siblings, he took up the offer to participate in this one when his mother was given the task of leading the team to Iraq. 

Musab, who also speaks Arabic, said his command of the language would be useful during the mission. 

The International Islamic School student, who planned to study law in the Middle East, added that he was “excited but nervous” as he knew he would be saddened by the war victims’ plight. 

The team, which will be in Iraq for about two weeks, will provide RM400,000 worth of aid, including food, basic necessities and school materials for adopted institutions. 

Earlier at a press conference, Musab’s mother, Sharifah Aminah Alkhared, who is GPM vice-president, said this trip would be the second one to Iraq by GPM, adding that they would be working with the International Islamic Relief Agency and the Hashimete Charity of Jordan to identify schools that needed help and other community development programmes. 

“Since the first trip in April, the mission has adopted seven orphanages, an old folks’ home and a handicapped children’s centre,” she said, adding that the organisation had been providing medical services and food for these institutions. 

Sharifah said that GPM was planning to continue its relief work for a year but needed about RM5mil to run the programmes. 

She also said the Darul Hikmah orphanage in Gopeng had been given approval to bring in 20 orphans from Iraq for adoption, adding that they were in the process of working out the details to bring the children here. 

GPM, initiated by the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM), is a coalition of 77 Malaysian NGOs formed in 2001 in response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. 

GPM can be contacted at 03-6188 8470 or e-mail: misikeamanan@hotmail.com.  

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