|Volume 3, No 3, Summer 1993|
In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.
The Jerrahi Order of America houses the only mosque in Rockland County, New York. We are a cultural, educational and social relief organization. We have branches in New York City, California, Indiana and Seattle, as well as Turkey, Germany, Greece, Italy, France, England, Austria, Spain, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.
From the outset of unstable political situation in former Yugoslavia, the Jerrahi Order has been concerned with lack of public and government interest in the victims of the war. The Bosnian Muslims are being persecuted, tormented and murdered, while the world stands by. The Serbs are, in the name of ethnic cleansing, perpetrating genocide before our very eyes. We have felt compelled to act, as best as we can, to help these people, who are our brothers and sisters, but just as importantly, innocently victimized human beings. Our concern has multiplied a thousand fold upon hearing horrifying reports of the suffering of helpless women and children in Bosnia.
The summary of activities are as follows:
1. We collected $31,000 to financially assist displaced Muslims. Many families here have pledged support to Bosnian families until the situation eases. At the the moment, we are able to send money to 142 families with 283 children. Other families are waiting anxiously to be added to the list. A tax deductible monthly donation of only $20 will provide survival assistance for a child. In addition, we accept and encourage one time donations in any amount.
2. We have collected and shipped clothing, blankets and medical supplies. We had sent several loads of items before we had to stop as relief was not going through.
3. Pharmaceuticals, hygienic supplies and writing materials were brought as accompanying luggage during our trips to Zagrep in February and June.
4. We also hope to ease the situation by bringing refugee children to United States and Turkey, and offering them foster care, until such time as it is deemed safe for them to return. We started an education program with the goal of bringing gifted high school and college age Bosnian students to U.S and Turkey. We have established scholarship funds for these students. Members of our immediate community have volunteered their homes and assistance for care of these children. Six high school students have already arrived. 12 students will be in Turkey at the beginning of August to continue their high school education in Izmir Ozel Fatih Lisesi, Izmir, Turkey.
5. We embarked on a project to start news/information center in former Yugoslavia to publicize the situation to the world. We have established a computer communication network with the Press Center of Third World Relief Agency in Zagrep and started receiving and distributing the news.
6. Under the guidance of our Imam, a group of Americans, including several psychologists specializing in family and women's issues and a journalist, traveled to Zagrep in February and in June. While there they forged alliances with Muslim organizations such as Merhamet and Mesihat. They made contacts which will open doors to larger network for supplying relief to needy Bosnians, and were informed about other needs which have not been previously addressed.
7. We have established Balkan Women's Relief Project to assist, counsel and treat war traumatized women. We have received partial grant from Soros to continue this work.
We will continue to use all resources and energy available to us in our efforts to help ease the situation in Bosnia. Anyone who wishes to collect funds and use our network for distributing them is welcome to do so. If you have services, supplies or funds to contribute, please call or write us at any of the following addresses and numbers.
Jerrahi Order Of America
884 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
Tosun Bayrak, Imam