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Caring for others

08 Jul 2020 / 10:30 H.

Singer, YouTuber and radio presenter at Zayan, Azhar Hilmi has been doing more than his fair share in helping raise awareness on the plight of displaced communities, and doing volunteer work for the community as a volunteer of Angkatan Pertahanan Awam (Malaysian Civil Defense Force).

These days he is still active with APM, and also with Syria Care.

“I have been involved with Syria Care since 2016. I am their spokesperson. Normally I will travel across Malaysia and raise awareness about what is going on in Syria. I also educate people on the role of Syria Care in sending aid to refugees situated on the borders of countries such as Turkey and Lebonan.”

Azhar Hilmi has been a spokesperson for Syria Cares since 2016 -Picture courtesy of Azhar Hilmi
Azhar Hilmi has been a spokesperson for Syria Cares since 2016 -Picture courtesy of Azhar Hilmi

He was initially invited by Syria Care to give a talk on humanity, and that is when he decided to join the group.

He said he had learned what was happening in Syria, and the impact it had on the people there.

“For me, we must always spread awareness about humanity, regardless of religion.”

His turning point came in 2016 when he visited an orphanage in a Syrian refugee camp in Lebonan, Jordan.

“I had talked to an orphan who was about 10 or 11 years old. He told me of how he escaped Syria, but his entire family was killed and now he was alone in the orphanage.

“They are all refugees, and the government of the country that they are in can’t really help all of them. At the end of the day, they have to focus their attention on their own citizens. So we in Syria Care try to help send aid to these refugees.”

Azhar Hilmi has been a spokesperson for Syria Cares since 2016 -Picture courtesy of Azhar Hilmi
Azhar Hilmi has been a spokesperson for Syria Cares since 2016 -Picture courtesy of Azhar Hilmi

This is even more crucial in light of the current situation in Malaysia and around the world, where immigrants and refugees are facing problems directly related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As a spokesperson, my main job is to spread awareness. For me, I concentrate more on students at local universities and the local community.

We work with NGOs over in Syria so that we don’t have to be physically present there all the time.”

He admits that it is harder to collect funds now.

“Right now the whole world is affected by this pandemic. We still have regular donors who are still giving us financial aid, but the amount is less than before.”

He has been on the receiving end of brickbats for helping refugees so far away, when there are so many Malaysians who are struggling to survive.

“We do have many NGOs who focus on helping people within the country, and also helping those who need it abroad. Other than Syria Care, I am involved in sending aid to frontliners in hospitals such as Hospital Ipoh. At the same time I am involved with APM, which is based in Putrajaya. I am focused on helping out quarantine centres.

Azhar Hilmi has been a spokesperson for Syria Cares since 2016 -Picture courtesy of Azhar Hilmi
Azhar Hilmi has been a spokesperson for Syria Cares since 2016 -Picture courtesy of Azhar Hilmi

“My focus is [also] on our fellow Malaysians, we help everybody.

“I am currently working from home. So I have more free time, and I feel I should use it to do something for the community.”

Azhar said that refugees are just like us, and that we should look beyond politics and race and help whenever we can.

“Set aside religion, race and politics. Think of them as human beings.”

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