In 1991, Imtiaz Sooliman, a medical doctor practising in Pietermaritzburg visited a Shaikh (Sufi teacher) in Istanbul, and received a message that would dramatically change the lives of countless people – that he would help others for the rest of his life.
Imtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the Givers tells of the establishment of South Africa’s only home-grown relief organisation, the Gift of the Givers. 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. 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.
Journalist Shafiq Morton, who has been on several of Gift of the Givers’ missions, tells the story of the organisation, its missions and its inspirational and tireless leader, Imtiaz Sooliman.