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Surviving Bomb Explosion, Refugee Feeds Homeless in Exeter

  • Dalal Deakin, a Syrian refugee, survived a bomb explosion in Syria a decade ago and is now feeding others in Exeter.
  • Dalal, her husband now hand out home-cooked Syrian food to those in need, including rough sleepers, in their community.

Miraculously surviving a bomb explosion and a deep scar on her chest a decade ago, Dalal Deakin’s health condition is not stable yet after moving from Syria to Exeter years ago.

Despite suffering from the effects of acute malnutrition, the Syrian refugee mother-of-two is now helping to feed others within the local community.

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“We had the idea that we would give free food to those in need,” Dalal told DevonLive.

“We know what it feels like to feel hungry, and we didn’t want to see anyone feel this way.”

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Dalal moved to Exeter with her husband Khaled a few years ago after leaving their war-torn country.

Settling in their newfound home, Khaled started a crowdfunding campaign to set up a Syrian food truck.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, Dalal and Khaled had the idea to hand out home-cooked Syrian food to those in need, including rough sleepers, in their community.

While the crowdfunding campaign enabled them to purchase a car and a trailer, they have bigger dreams to raise funds and convert it into a kitchen.

Helping Others

The food truck will be their business, but they want to continue their philanthropic work by donating to those in need.

“Syrian food is delicious, and people love it. So, we’ve come up with a business plan to make it our business and then take money out of the profits to feed those in need too. It’s our way of giving back,” she said.

“Neither of us would ever have given up,” she added. “If we don’t die, we thought, there would be a day that will be good for us. In Lebanon, we lived near the airport and used to look up at every plane and say, one day we’ll be on one of those.

“When we were given the key to our flat in Exeter, it was like a dream. And when we had a shower and clean water, it was like heaven. I felt free at last.”

Generosity and charity are generally blessed in Islamic Shari`ah.

Islam encourages Muslims to treat their neighbors in a gentle way that reflects its genuine spirit, as exemplified by its tolerant aspect, especially with people of other faiths.

It makes no difference whether the neighbors are Muslim or non-Muslim.