Doha / Ahmed Youssef / Anatolia
Many countries are racing against time to extend a helping hand to the afflicted in the Turkish and Syrian regions affected by the earthquakes, which left great losses in lives and property in both countries.
Among these countries are the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which are witnessing “fazaa” (response for relief and rescue), as they officially announced the launch of air bridges to provide humanitarian aid and send rescue teams to participate in the search for survivors under the rubble.
In parallel with the official position, wide popular campaigns were launched in the Gulf countries to support the earthquake victims, including civil society institutions, media initiatives, and intense individual calls.
Social networking sites in the Gulf countries were buzzing with calls for donations and support with the earthquake victims in ten states, in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday a state of emergency for a period of 3 months, namely: Adana, Adi Yaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.
** Saudi Arabia
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia witnessed a popular donation campaign that met with great turnout and collected support that, as of Thursday morning, exceeded about 100 million riyals (more than 26 million dollars).
This came according to the statements of the Saudi (governmental) “Sahem” platform, which is responsible for the “popular campaign for relief of earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey,” which was launched on Wednesday by the King Salman Relief Center (governmental), following a royal directive to launch it.
Saudi scholars and preachers called on the people of the Kingdom to participate in the campaign and donate to the victims in the two brotherly countries.
** Sultanate of Oman
Through the Omani Authority for Charitable Activities, charitable associations and institutions announced their contribution to collecting donations and aid.
The Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Khalili, tweeted, saying: “We console from the depths of our hearts the two brotherly Muslim peoples, the Syrian people and the Turkish people, for the great affliction of the disaster that befell many of the dear ones due to the impact of the devastating earthquake that struck the two dear countries.”
In its editorial on Wednesday, the Omani newspaper, Al-Ruya, said: Oman has mobilized its leadership and people to mitigate the effects of this devastating earthquake in northern Syria and southern Turkey.
The Omani writer, member of the Board of Directors of the Journalists Association, Hammoud Al-Touqi, called on his countrymen to donate, saying in a tweet: “Is there still someone who has not donated yet?”
“In the balance of all of your good deeds,” with this sentence he urged an account on behalf of Saud Al Qasimi to donate, saying: “Donate if you can or contribute to spreading the relief campaign for the brothers in Syria and Turkey who were subjected to a devastating earthquake.”
Saif Al-Muqbali wrote: “The earth has become too narrow for them. They lost their loved ones and their homes were destroyed. Thousands of wounded and affected people are seeking help from you to ease their pain and wounds! Donate what you feel good about through the Omani Charity Organization.”
** The UAE
The Emirates Red Crescent called for joining the “Bridges of Good” campaign to support those affected in Syria and Turkey. The campaign includes mobilizing initial aid in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The collection of cash and in-kind donations continues for two weeks through the Crescent Authority and the Emirati humanitarian and charitable institutions participating in the initiative.
Al Ansari Exchange announced its donation of 3.67 million dirhams (1 million US dollars) in support of relief efforts for those affected by the disaster.
In Kuwait, where humanitarian organizations abound, dozens of associations launched donation campaigns that received a strong turnout under the title “Fara Kuwait”.
Soon, Kuwaitis interacted with the panic that was launched by the Council of Ministers under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Community Development to provide urgent aid and relief to those affected in Turkey and Syria.
Kuwaiti writer Nasser Badr Al-Aidan said, “We need governmental and popular panic to save what can be saved from the victims of the rubble of the Turkey-Syria earthquake.”
Explaining what is required, Al-Aidan called for the provision of “medical and medicinal support – food and logistical aid – blood donation – volunteer research teams – disaster experts … The disaster is humane and dangerous, and international organizations expect tens of thousands of victims.”
On the communication sites, Qataris expressed their full solidarity with the earthquake victims through their condolences and sympathy, wishing recovery for the wounded and mercy for the dead.
In parallel, Qatar Charity and the Qatar Red Crescent rushed to send aid and field teams to Turkey and Syria to participate in rescue operations.
And there were calls, via Twitter, to collect donations to provide relief to the victims through civil associations, given the extent of the destruction suffered by the afflicted.
As part of the social initiatives, Dar Al-Sharq Media decided to donate the revenues from the sale of its four newspapers (Al-Sharq – Al-Arab – Lusail – The Peninsula) starting from Thursday, February 9, and for a period of one week, to the people of the two brotherly countries.
On Wednesday, the Qatar Stars League decided to allocate the proceeds of tickets for the two semi-final matches of the Qatar Football Cup for the benefit of those affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
** the two seas
In Bahrain, the Royal Humanitarian Foundation called on the people to donate to the national campaign to support those affected by the earthquake.
The Foundation urged all institutions, private sector companies and individuals to contribute to the campaign.
In response to the appeal of the Turkish embassy in Manama, Bahrainis delivered in-kind aid for the benefit of the afflicted.
At dawn on Monday, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria, followed hours later by another with a magnitude of 7.6 and hundreds of violent aftershocks, which left huge losses of lives and property in both countries.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a state of emergency for a period of 3 months in 10 states affected by the earthquake, namely Adana, Adi Yaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa.
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