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UK: Muslim centenarian raises $243K for virus victims

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100-year-old Dabirul Islam Choudhury walks laps of his communal garden in Bow, east London, United Kingdom on May 23, 2020. Photojournalist: Isabel Infantes
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May 24, 2020 - 06:35 AM

LONDON (AA) – A British Muslim centenarian is being hailed as a hero for raising more than £200,000 (over $243,000) for the victims of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dabirul Islam Choudhury, 100, walked 100 laps in his 80-meter garden while also fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Choudhury told Anadolu Agency that initially he was trying to raise £1,000 for the virus’ victims both in the UK and his home country Bangladesh but that he surpassed that target within the first eight hours.

He said fasting “inspired” him and the more he fasted the healthier he became during the lockdown.

Choudhury said he will continue walking in his garden and raising funds even after Ramadan for the Ramadan Family Commitment (RFC), which is aimed to generate more funds with partner charity groups.

He said Muslims should “pray individually during Ramadan” due to the social distancing needed to stem the virus’ spread.

Choudhury also said that he will celebrate the Eid al-Fitr – the three-day holiday at the end of Ramadan – with his family.

“We will celebrate the Eid at home with family but observe social distancing,” he said.

Dabirul Islam Choudhury was born on Jan. 1, 1920 in British Assam, which in 1971 became independent Bangladesh.

In 1957, Dabirul moved to London to study English literature. He ended up as a community leader and settled in St. Albans, north London.

Choudhury was responsible for many community projects and raised money for Bangladesh’s struggle for independence.

An accomplished poet, he has published over 1,000 of his own poems.

As of Saturday afternoon, Chaudhury’s charity fundraising page at justgiving.com has reached a staggering £209,000.

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