Your Highness, Sultan of Oman,
During your recent and glamorous visit to Croatia, you left about $60,000 in tips for the staff of the hotels Hilton Imperial and Rixos Libertas in Dubrovnik.
Everyone, from the cleaning lady to the CEO, was richly rewarded for the outstanding service they provided to you and your team.
According to Dubrovniknet, you rewarded all 50 employees at the Hilton Imperial leaving them either a $100, $200 or $300 tip; every of 120 employees at Rixos Libertas got up to $450. The Mayor of the city, Andro Vlahusic, who personally met you on arrival got a Rolex watch ($4000-8000) .
You arrived from Cyprus where you have done the same things leaving €3,000 to the hotel staff in Limasol. You also richly rewarded the hotel's manager giving each of them gold watches worth €5,000.
This is, to say the least, a very gentlemanly and humane gesture.
Just as J.K. Rowling said: "If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." And you treated them as a people worthy of full respect expressing your satisfaction through the rich tips.
Definitely, you are a most generous man. I am not wondering given that you united three persons in yourself: a rich man, a ruler and a Muslim. I emphasize "a Muslim" bearing in mind that charity is the Third Pillar of Islam. One of leading principles of Allah's faith.
I am an Orthodox Christian but it is well known to me that every Muslim may be merciful in two ways by giving :
1. Zakat or "compulsory charity"; it is an obligation for those who have received their wealth from God to respond to those members of the community in need. Zakat purifies one's heart of greed. Zakat must be paid on different categories of property -- gold, silver, money; livestock; agricultural produce; and business commodities -- and is payable each year after one year's possession. Zakat is an annual contribution of 2.5 percent of an individual's wealth and assets.
2. Sadaqah, or voluntary almsgiving is intended for the needy. The Quran emphasizes feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping those who are in need, and the more one helps, the more God helps the person, and the more one gives, the more God gives the person. One feels he is taking care of others and God is taking care of him.
So I feel unlimited freedom to ask from you a tip, zakat or sadaqah for Irena Paunovic, a 42 year old Serbian women that needs a lung transplantation in Vienna to enable her to continue to live.
She raised €120,000 ($157,000) for the transplant itself (thanks to good people on Facebook, Serbian Ministry of Defence and the Mayor of Kraljevo, her town in the Central Serbia) but she needs an additional $78,000 (€60,000) to complete the funding for the treatment.
She writes on her site:
I will need another 60,000 euros for the postoperative part. When I get out of the hospital I'll have to live there (Vienna, Austria) 3 - 12 months that depends on my health. I have to consume some drugs the rest of my life and it will cost me about 5,000 euros per month. Each bronchoscopy cost 1,800 euros and it will be done 1 - 2 times per month. That's why I asked you ifyou are willing to continue the action... Thank you in advance. "
Unfortunately, many of those who wish to help are unable. Their wallets are empty unlike their hearts. On the flip side, many of those who might be able to help are not interested in doing so.
Irena has been waiting for a call from the AKH Clinic in Vienna since December 2011 not knowing when she will receive it. However, she has not lost hope. Every new day is God's gift to her; a new fear and new challenge.
Your Highness, the money that Irena needs is a little more than the tips that you left for hotels' staff in Dubrovnik. But, for her, her beloved mother, friends and all of us gathered around her in prayer, it is a huge fortune.
" Tips", "Zakat" or "Sadaqah".
No matter what you wish to call it, we would ask that you be merciful and leave something for Irena.
You will agree with me: one day, when you stand in front the God, he will more appreciate your tips for the sick woman than all tips you left in luxury hotels around the world during your life.
Maybe it looks like I am begging for you to help, but I don't care. I am not ashamed. It would be a greater shame to stay in silence in this extremely cruel world that worries more about lost penguins in New Zealand, how they can raise $25,000 to return him on Antarctic, than to worry about how to help the sick woman.
Your Highness, please, leave tips for Irena. Help her to get a new chance for a life. Help her to get the only "luxury" she wants at this moment. A new breath.
If this letter awakes the responsiveness in your heart and if you really would like to help Irena be free and contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org for all further information.
Follow Sasa Milosevic on Twitter: www.twitter.com/journalist92