ACTNews, BELU – The Island of Timor is well-known for its scenic beauty both on the island and its coastal areas. Timor is also popular for its wonderful and rich culture and heritage. Wooden houses with roof made of straws, granaries and livestock pens, and traditional woven fabrics make up Timorese traditional culture.
Regrettably, the Timor island also has a saddening story about its people, about a massive exodus of refugees from East Timor who now live in several locations in Atambua Sub-district, Belu Regency, about the Muslim minority population who fled from the conflict in Dili in 1999, about the people who choose to be a part of Indonesia.
In 1999, it was recorded that around 250,000 refugees chose to stay in Atambua. The number decreased after many of them opted to go to bigger cities to make a living. The rest had to find means to fulfill their daily needs, such as working as odd workers.
Their inability to find jobs makes life more difficult for them. They don’t have any money to fulfill their basic needs. Consequently, they have to live a difficult, deprived life.
They rely heavily on what’s around them for food. They obtain rice and vegetables from their farms as well as protein sources from their livestock and the sea. They spend their money on primary needs other than food.
Global Qurban visited Atambua border
A year ago, Global Qurban reached the people of Atambua in Aitaman village, one of the villages where former East Timor residents live. Despite living as a minority group, Muslims in Aitaman were still able to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha.
In this village, the celebration might not be as grandeur as the Eid-ul-Adha celebrations in major Indonesian cities, but it did not dampen their spirit to gather together and celebrate.
The villagers had gathered since early in the morning. They gathered in the house of a local villager to wait for the sacrifice of the cows brought by the Global Qurban team. Their hearts were filled with enthusiasm as they gather to cook the food to be eaten together with their relatives from neighboring villages.
“We don’t often gather together like this to eat such special food. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen,” said Maina, a local villager who has moved to Atambua from East Timor since 2003.
Aitaman was one of the villages visited by Global Qurban. There were several other villages such as Haerik, Sukabitektek and Kletek Village. These villages are inhabited by the refugees from East Timor. These village have witnessed how the refugees have to struggle against many difficulties.
In less than two months, Muslims around the world will welcome the festive moment of Eid-ul-Adha. Global Qurban – Aksi Cepat Tanggap is preparing to provide the best service for Muslims during the special days of sacrifice.
Insha Allah, Muslims in Atambua will once again savor the delicious qurbani meat, as Global Qurban – Aksi Cepat Tanggap team will visit locations in Indonesia and overseas to deliver the blessing of qurbani, including to the people on Atambua – East Timor border.