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Newmarket man marks first day of Ramadan with donation to aid persons experiencing homelessness in York Region

April 15, 2021

‘I just wanted to do my part, as a Muslim, to give back during this holy month’

By: Lisa Queen at Newmarket Era, Original Article

As an act of giving on the first day of Ramadan, April 13, Newmarket resident Wasim Jarrah donated $2,000 to Blue Door, which provides transitional housing programs to York Region residents.

“As part of our religion, we not only fast and refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, but we’re encouraged as part of our religion to give back. It’s one of the main Pillars of Islam, charity,” said Jarrah, an Aurora real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Centres.

He is also donating $2,000 to the Newmarket Food Pantry, which he has donated to during Ramadan in the past.

“I know that there’s a lot of people who are going to sleep hungry, I know that there’s a lot of people that are trying to find shelter. I just wanted to do my part, as a Muslim, to give back during this holy month.”

Donating to community causes is also an opportunity to shed a positive light on Islam, said Jarrah, a father of a 13-year-old son, an 11-year-old daughter and an almost three-month-old son.

“I also want to try to create some sort of tolerance and respect, given that people are on edge as well. I know how Islam is sometimes viewed by the media. We rarely talk about the good sides of Islam,” he said.

“The idea is to try to improve that image because my kids live in this society. My kids have been targeted by hate, and my 13-year-old has been called a terrorist in the past on the school bus by another kid. So, the idea is I want to try to do everything that I can so my kids, and other kids in the community of ethnic origins, can live in a community where they feel safe and respected and tolerated.”

Blue Door is a charity that runs several emergency housing and support services, including Kevin’s Place for youth in Newmarket, Porter Place for men and Leeder Place for families in East Gwillimbury. It also operates a program for LGBTQ youth in need of housing and support in York Region, supportive housing programs called Abode and Forward, and a construction social enterprise called Construct.

CEO Michael Braithwaite welcomed Jarrah’s donation, calling him a “community champion” who is helping to keep clients safe, and create a more understanding community by contributing in the spirit of Ramadan.