By Zaiba Hasan
“As the first rays of dawn broke through, I was awakened by the loud and nasally ‘may-AH’ of the resident peacock. Moments later, the athan for Fajr reverberated in the air from a local masjid, urging me to rise from my bed and immerse in prayer as I awaited the sunrise. Now, on the open-air balcony, the fragrance of lavender wafts up, enveloping me in its delightful embrace. Though the mountain air is a bit brisk, I embrace its refreshing coolness after yesterday's scorching heat. My heart longs for my children and husband, yet I find myself falling in love with Morocco.”
This entry is taken verbatim from my barakah journal chronicling my summer adventure with my Mommying While Muslim co-host and co-founder Dr. Uzma Jafri in Morocco. It captures the poetic emotions I experienced that first morning at a serene retreat center just outside the bustling city of Marrakech. However, my heart grows heavy as I continue to digest the devastating news from the past week: An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck the High Atlas Mountains and the beautiful city of Marrakech
The recent earthquake in Morocco has left countless individuals homeless, injured, and desperate for help. While immediate medical care and shelter are crucial, the road to recovery will be long and challenging.
If you're like me, feeling hopeless and yet looking for meaningful ways to lend a hand, here are four actionable suggestions (Haute Hijab has also put together five places where you can donate, organizations that are on the ground and helping):
1. Donate to Reliable Charities
Ensure your donations go directly to those affected by the earthquake. Trusted organizations providing aid in Morocco include:
- The Moroccan Red Crescent
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
- Save the Children
- Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
Verify the website's authenticity before donating, and consider making an unrestricted contribution to allow organizations to allocate resources effectively.
2. Support Local Crowdfunding
Find genuine crowdfunding campaigns dedicated to Moroccan earthquake relief. Your contribution can directly impact immediate needs like medical expenses and shelter. For example, this fundraiser on LaunchGood
made by ICNYU's Imam Khaid Latif is a good place to start.
3. Stand with Your Local Moroccan Community
Zaiba and Uzma pose in front of the Koutoubia Mosque, an UNESCO World Heritage site, which was damaged in the earthquake.
If you live in a city with a significant Moroccan community, there are likely local drives and events to support earthquake victims. You can go on social media to see if there are any local fundraising drives or events happening or search on Google. Participate, donate, or volunteer to make a difference.
4. Spread the Word
Harness the power of social media and community groups to raise awareness about the situation in Morocco. Share links to reputable charities, news updates, and personal stories. Together, we can rally support from global communities.
Helping Flood Survivors in Libya
Meanwhile, just days after the devastating earthquake in Morocco. Libya was hit by a horrendous storm causing catastrophic flooding
, with more than 8,000 dead and 10,000 missing, with the death count likely to go up. The coastal city of Derna has been ravaged by the flooding and taken the worst hit. Rescue efforts are underway in Libya as well, and our help is desperately needed there as well.
Consider donating to Islamic Relief USA’s emergency campaign in Libya
or to UNICEF
, which is an organization within the United Nations that assists children. UNICEF announced
that it is “expediting 1,100 hygiene kits, vital medical supplies for 10,000 people and essential clothing kits for 500 children.
The Libyan Red Crescent, which is an arm of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is also working to provide essential aid to people in the flooded regions of the country. You can donate to help the Libyan Red Crescent with their work here
It’s hard to wrap our heads around multiple disasters causing such a huge loss of life in a matter of days. While the news of the devastating earthquake in Morocco and the catastrophic flooding in Libya has been heart-wrenching, it is important to remember that hope is not lost. The most impactful way to show solidarity with those affected by this tragedy is to take action.
With reliable charities, local crowdfunding campaigns, community drives and events, possible volunteering trips, and the power of social media, we can all come together and support those faced with the enormous task of rebuilding their lives. Although I have not visited Marrakech since that dreamy summer morning last summer, my thoughts and prayers are with its people and with the people of Libya in this difficult time.
Even from afar, let us show them our love by coming together – donating what we can and sharing stories of strength and resilience in search of a better tomorrow.
Zaiba Hasan is part of the dynamic duo behind the award-winning podcast, Mommying While Muslim. She is the founder of and a spiritual parent coach at Emerge Consulting Solutions, an interfaith mediator and sports mama extraordinaire. Look for her on the baseball fields and basketball courts in the DMV (Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) area cheering from the sidelines.