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GAZIANTEP, TURKIYE February 20, 2023 — Baitulmaal, a Dallas-based international humanitarian nonprofit, recently distributed 430 heaters and firewood along with hot meals to families displaced by two powerful earthquakes that hit Turkiye and northern Syria early last week.
The distribution took place in Islahiya, Turkiye, one of the hard-hit towns in the province of Gaziantep. Most of the population is now living in tents away from cordoned-off areas full of damaged buildings and piles of rubble. Many were burning scraps to keep themselves warm in subzero temperatures, so the provision of heaters and firewood helps alleviate the cold and risk of unsafe heating methods.
Author and activist Linda Sarsour joined the Baitulmaal team on the ground in Turkiye and northern Syria, visiting with survivors, distributing aid, touring donor-funded schools, and bearing witness to the devastation of the quakes.
In an interview with TRTWorld, a Turkish public broadcast service, Sarsour called for sustainable solidarity.
“It’s not just one donation, these are people living in tents and have no idea when they’ll be able to live in permanent housing.” Sarsour said. “So the question is, will our solidarity be for one day? Is it temporary? Or are we going to stand with these people until they get back on their feet?”
One day after Sarsour returned to the United States, another powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck in Hatay, where Baitulmaal staff had just finished distributing 1,000 hot meals to survivors in Hatay and Gaziantep minutes before the ground shook. They are currently on the ground in the affected areas assessing the situation to mobilize more aid.
Sarsour is encouraging people to continue to support the efforts of humanitarian nonprofits like Baitulmaal as they rush to provide life-saving aid to those impacted by ongoing earthquakes in Turkiye and northern Syria.
Baitulmaal has been on the ground in Turkiye and northern Syria mobilizing aid to affected areas. The charity dispatched a $5.35M shipment of medical supplies which began to arrive in Kahramanmaraş, Turkiye as early as Tuesday of last week. Baitulmaal has also been regularly distributing hot meals, blankets, clothing, and shoes to displaced families and orphans. The charity is preparing to provide temporary shelters, run ambulance services and operate medical tents in the coming days. To learn more about or contribute to these efforts, visit Baitulmaal.org.
Baitulmaal is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides life-saving, life-sustaining and life-enriching aid to people in need around the world. With headquarters in Texas, the charity has domestic offices in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey as well as international offices in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East.
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