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SANLIURFA, TURKIYE February 16, 2023 — Baitulmaal, a Dallas-based international humanitarian nonprofit, recently distributed food, blankets, thermal clothing and shoes to 100 orphans and their families displaced by a series of earthquakes that hit Turkiye early last week.

The distribution took place in Sanliurfa, a Turkish city that hosts tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. Food and clothing were distributed at the Bangash Center in Sanliurfa, while blankets were delivered directly to families living in temporary shelters in the Bazar camps.

Researcher and author Dalia Mogahed joined the Baitulmaal team on the ground in Turkiye and witnessed first-hand the toll these quakes have had on residents in the area, including local humanitarian aid workers.

“The stories I heard, the resilience I saw, truly humbled me,” Mogahed said. “From the head of the relief workers who has been living in his car with his family for the past eight days while undertaking aid efforts, to the refugee woman who lost four of her adult children in the quakes and is now caring for all of her orphaned grandchildren. These are wounded healers who exemplify compassion – and who need it from us.”

Having escaped war in Syria, many Syrian families sought refuge in the ancient Turkish city of Sanliurfa – where 1 in every 4 residents is a refugee – only to be displaced once again by the deadliest earthquake in a generation. As of February 15, 2023, more than 41,000 people have perished in the quakes. Thousands of children are now orphaned, and millions of families are displaced across both countries.

Mogahed is encouraging people to support the efforts of humanitarian nonprofits like Baitulmaal as they rush to provide life-saving aid to those impacted by the earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria as well as secure donor sponsorship of orphaned children. 

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 and blankets in Sanliurfa and in Jindires in northern Syria. The charity is preparing to provide winter relief kits, run ambulance services and operate medical tents in the coming days. To learn more about or contribute to these efforts, visit Baitulmaal.org.

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