Council of Ukrainian Muslims

«And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah, and be not divided among yourselv» (Quran, 3:103)

Evening Spent At Military Hospital: Conversations Over Pilav

02.03.2015 / 1202

Kyiv Muslim women, both activist from Social organisation “Maryam” and volunteers at the local ICC, gathered together yet again in order to cook hot meals for soldiers from the ATO zone who are being treated at Kyiv Military Hospital.

This time they decided to feed more men, and for that reason the daily special (chicken pilav) was cooked on a noble scale. One large cauldron was just enough to make 60 portions. While the main source was being cooked, the women made some pancakes stuffed with sweet farmer cheese, beefing it out with a pot of honey. It bears reminding that this charitable benefit is open-ended, so we invite everyone willing (regardless of their religious views) to join!

When all the food was packed and delivered to the hospital, the ICC delegation was welcomed by the Military Hospital volunteers from the “Volunteer Hundred”, who spend all day long each day to provide the soldiers with everything necessary, including food, clothing, medicine, hygiene accommodation, communication with the world. They also fundraise for those soldiers who need expensive medical recreation.

They say that the soldiers who often serve in the military forces only with the help of enthusiasm, are dragged out of the hay only thanks to the very same enthusiasm of lots of members of the public who eagerly help as much as they can. It’s something that would be just impossible without this ultimate people’s support.

— Come over, don’t forget about the guys. We took the rest to the Psychiatry Department, there’s always need for normal food which is short supply.

— How short?

—  The State appropriates UAH 7 (USD 0.27) per day for every hospital patient’s meals. Judge yourself, how much loose one can get within this sum. So, we mainly feed our guys with the help of unindifferent people and the relatives. Most men are, however, from other regions of the country and have no relatives living nearby…

The soldiers, on their part, never ask for anything for themselves. When asked “Maybe there’s something else we could bring for you?” they always answer: “Thank you very much for being kind to us! Nothing more, we have everything we need!”

“Perhaps, some pictures drawn by children, if they want to”— Stas the “Kiborg” (Ukr.slang name for soldiers who defended Donetsk Airport — ed.) ads after some moments of hesitation. — “They make our everyday life brighter!”

“The drawings, of course, inspire and make us more optimistic” — another soldier form #2 ward at Traumatology department, says. — “But sometimes we see stress the child is being through depicted in a drawing. Our nation has been announced fascists, enemies, and it’s something very hard for the kids to live with. For instance, a school teacher brought us a pack of drawings recently, and we asked her if she could talk to one of the young author’s parents so they could seek advice at school counsellor; the boy mustn’t be left alone with such high-level stress he’s being through.”

The soldiers always welcome visitors, and are always willing to meet new people and have some chats with them. “When you join the army in order to defend your nation, this nation is something… let’s say virtual for you at the beginning. But when you see lots of people you didn’t even know, but they care for you and try to help you — that’s where you realise how much we can rely upon one another. We are all tied together, and only together we can overcome everything that’s befallen for us.”

In general, the men keep a good heart: “I’ve got a surgery on Wednesday and another one on Saturday, so i can have a normal meal on only Thursday... And then, I want to attend the concert by Makarevitch — see, I have a busy schedule, no time to lose heart!” — says one of the men while jumping on his unaffected leg and the a pair of crutches to see the guests off to the exit of Traumatology department.


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