The Holy Land Foundation
In 1987, the Intifada took place. It was a time when Palestinian families demonstrated in the streets, praying that their cries would be broadcasted across the world. To the founders of the Holy Land Foundation, to ignore these cries would have been to deny their own humanity. They could not ignore the humanitarian crisis in Occupied Palestine. This was how the HLF got its start.
The foundation was founded in 1989 in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City, California and relocated to the Dallas suburb of Richardson, Texas in 1991. The HLF mainly provided relief to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Jordan through various projects, including orphan and family sponsorship programs, back-to-school funding, hospital building and home reconstruction.
The HLF also aided the needy in Bosnia, Albania, Chechnya and Turkey. Furthermore, the HLF provided assistance in the United States, opening a food pantry in New Jersey and helping victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing, Texas tornadoes and Iowa floods.
By 2001, the charity’s annual budget had reached about $14 million, making it the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. According to the mission statement posted on its website:
“The HLF believes that pain is a universal condition transcending racial, religious, national, and geographical boundaries. We believe that it is a God-given responsibility to permeate all the barriers separating humans and give them the best possible assistance. The future of the world depends on what we do today.”