Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, I rise today to speak on Eid ul Fitr and to say to all honourable senators Eid Mubarak. Eid ul Fitr marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It is one of the most important religious and festive holidays for all Muslim communities.
To mark this important occasion, Muslims will celebrate by attending special morning prayers, exchanging greetings and gifts and sharing a special meal. At the end of this month of reflection, we think of all the Muslims and all the poor people who have been displaced or affected by conflict and who are separated from their family during Ramadan.
Today we are reminded of the hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people who have been attacked. Honourable senators, the fourth anniversary of the war in Yemen is approaching, and there are few signs that the war will be ending any time soon. As many as 250,000 people may lose their lives. Save the Children says an estimated 130 children die every day in war-torn Yemen from extreme hunger and disease.
Senators, I would like to share with you the life story of Tinal. Tinal is one of those children who died. At only eight years old, she witnessed her parents being executed in Yemen. Tinal put her fear and grief aside to care for her three younger siblings while her older brother left the family home to find food and water. Tinal would feed her young siblings dried grass and tree leaves. In the hopes her brother would return in time, and in a state of complete desperation, the children ate dirt and clothing.
Sadly, when her brother returned home, he found the bodies of his four younger brothers and sisters.
Honourable senators, this is the reality of Yemen. Today I call upon my brothers in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen and Syria: Stop the carnage and resolve all issues at the peace table. During this holy month of Ramadan, if we truly believe in the message of the Prophet Muhammad, I ask those countries to stop the carnage and sit around the peace table. The time has come to create peace. That is what Ramadan means.
Thank you to all of you for listening. Eid Mubarak to all of you, honourable senators, and to Canadians. Thank you very much.