The highly anticipated story of leading SA humanitarian organsation Gift of the Givers has finally been encapsulated in a book. Written by VOC’s very own Shafiq Morton, Imtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the Givers: A Mercy to All tells the story of the establishment of South Africa’s only home-grown relief organisation, the Gift of the Givers and its founder Imtiaz Sooliman – the inspiration, the adventures and the impact they have made in lives of people around the world.
In 1991, Imtiaz Sooliman, a medical doctor practising in Pietermaritzburg visited a Shaikh, a Sufi teacher, in Istanbul, and received a message that would dramatically change his life and the lives of countless others – that he would dedicate the rest of his life to helping others in need, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.
As Africa’s biggest relief NGO, under the leadership of Dr Sooliman, Gift of the Givers has a reputation for speedy intervention in local disasters, but it has also conducted over 20 international missions in places such as Bosnia, Palestine, Japan, Haiti, Indonesia, Malawi and Mozambique.
Imtiaz Sooliman says: “We had to emphasise to the international community that Africa had awoken from its slumber; and that it was now giving instead of asking.”
Since 1992, Gift of the Givers has put up hospitals, run clinics, created agricultural schemes, dug wells, built houses, developed and manufactured energy food, renovated fishing boats, offered scholarships and provided shelter, food and psychological succour to millions. It has responded to floods, war, famine, tsunamis, kidnapping and earthquakes.
Morton has been on several of Gift of the Givers’ missions and has experienced first hand the impact of war and natural disasters on populations.
Morton is an award-winning photo-journalist and radio presenter of VOC’s flagship current affairs programme Drivetime. Recipient of two Vodacom awards, he received the 2012 AWQAF award for contribution to community media. Author of two books, Notebooks from Makkah and Madinah and Surfing behind the Wall, My Palestinian Journey, Morton was voted amongst the 500 most influential Muslims in the world in the media category by the Royal Islamic Strategic Centre in Jordan.
The book is published by Bookstorm. It is available at Kalahari.com, Exclusive Books and all other outlets. VOC