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Muslim family’s voluntary service touches UK village

Under isolation due to COVID-19, British costumier said she receives help from Muslim neighbor she merely knows

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 11.04.2020
Muslim family’s voluntary service touches UK village


A Muslim family’s voluntary service to drop food packets at the doors of self-isolated neighbors has touched the residents of Sudbrooke, a small village in the West Lindsey district in the U.K.

"Have a good day" and "keep safe" were messages written on the two food packets delivered at the doorstep of 66-years old Pauline Loven, a renowned costume historian, costumier, and heritage film producer.

Self-isolated at home in her village, six miles (9.6 kilometers) northeast of the city of Lincoln, due to fears of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak, Loven, told Anadolu Agency via email that she was deeply touched by an act of kindness of her Muslim neighbor, Ghana, whom she had met only "once many months ago".

Two weeks ago, when the country decided to shut down, Ghana slipped a note through everyone’s door in the neighborhood, offering to do shopping, bring medicines or be a friendly voice on the phone.

"We chatted through the glass front door, so she knew we were self-isolating," said Loven, who is also suffering from asthma.

"A few days later, Ghana and her teenage son called and dropped a care packet in a brown paper bag. She was wearing plastic gloves to protect the package. It contained satsumas, tomatoes, cucumber and two cartons of fresh fruit juice. I realized later that it was a vitamin C booster to enhance the immune system. It also contained hand-sanitizer," Loven added.

Upon asked through the door what she owed her neighbor for this generosity, Loven said she heard most precious words: "Nothing. You are my neighbor and you are my family."

"I was incredibly touched. I know that it is not just me she is caring for, but many more isolated people living on our street. I am looking forward to meeting her properly when this is all over," said the heritage film producer.

Loven said though she is English, but had the "good fortune" of growing up partly in Yemen and Cyprus. Therefore, she values the interconnection of people regardless of race, culture or beliefs, describing it as "an incredibly precious thing".

"I was immeasurably enriched by such a childhood," she said, adding that we can all contribute to making the world a better place for one another.

The film producer and costume historian underlined that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught many lessons to humanity.

"The global pandemic has shown us all how fast many of us live our lives and how much we needlessly consume of the planet’s resources," she said.

She also expressed hope that a way out can be found, after all this, for a "better balance" between the needs of the economy, people and sustainability of the planet.

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