President and first lady distribute food to the disabled

President Abdulla Yameen and First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim are distributing food to disabled people registered in the capital Malé and its suburbs Hulhumalé and Villingili.

A package of rice, dates and cans of tuna are being distributed with a message saying the gifts are from the president and the first lady.

The first lady visited homes of disabled people last week and visited chronically ill patients at the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) on Sunday.

When asked if the couple if distributing the food on the occasion of the upcoming Islamic month of Ramadan, the first lady’s secretary Fathimath Rahma told Minivan News there was no particular occasion.

The gifts were bought on the couple’s own funds, she said.

One family reported receiving five kilos of rice, one kilo of dates and five cans of tuna, while another reported receiving 20 kilos of rice, one kilo of dates and six cans of tuna. They welcomed the gift from the president and the first lady.

An eyewitness at the IGMH said he saw the first lady handing out envelopes with money to the patients at IGMH.

“When I asked them what the envelope was, they gave it to me and I saw the envelope said it was from the couple and contained MVR1,000,” he said.

But Rahma dismissed rumours the first lady had distributed money to the sick at the IGMH.

“The first lady only visited the patients there, she did not hand them any envelopes,” she said.


Saudi Arabia donates 50 tonnes of dates to Maldives

Saudi Arabia has given the Maldives 50 tonnes of dates in celebration of the holy month of Ramdan, local media has reported.

Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed told Haveeru that the annual gift would be shipped to the country soon, after which he would decide on how the dates ought to be distributed.

The dates – a traditional gift from the Arab kingdom to the Maldives since 1988 – will be stored by the State Trading Organisation before being distributed by the Local Government Association.

Ramadan will fall at the end of June this year.

Growing links between the two countries in recent months have seen moves to increase educational and aviation links, as well as a Saudi pledge to build ten “world class” mosques by Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz during a recent visit to the Indian Ocean nation.