Last Updated on 15th February 2023
Mohammad Athar Zubair, Humanity First Germany
On 6 February 2023, the city of Gaziantep, near the southeast border of Turkiye, was struck by a devastating earthquake. In response, my humble self immediately called for an emergency meeting along with Mohammad Munawwar Abid Sahib, Director of Disaster Relief at Humanity First Germany, Mahmood Qureshi Sahib, Director of Disaster Relief at Humanity First International, president of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Turkiye, Sadiq Sahib, and the representative of Humanity First in Turkiye, Mehmet Sahib.
Determined to bring aid to those affected by the quake as quickly as possible, a dynamic duo of assessors, Hammad Härter Sahib, Vice Chairman Humanity First and Dr Raza Ahmed Sahib, was sent from Germany to Adana the very next day. This team worked tirelessly to gain a complete understanding of the situation on the ground, make crucial connections with local authorities, and organise a comprehensive relief effort. Their rapid response and dedication to helping those in need demonstrate the unwavering spirit of Humanity First and their commitment to making a difference in times of crisis. With nothing in hand and no seats available to send our team and equipment to the destination, we faced a great challenge. The assessment team on the ground was pushing us to arrive as soon as possible, but the officials and the government were not ready to help us.
Faced with this challenge, we requested Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa for prayers and guidance and miraculously, we received a call from a former minister who introduced us to a highly influential person who offered to transport our entire team, equipment, and medicines for free on his private plane, which was unbelievable for us, alhamdulillah.
As we reached the airport at the cargo area for private planes, security personnel stopped us and informed us that everything needed to be scanned, but since it was the weekend and late in the night, we would have to hire an external company to do so. We thought we had no choice but to pay for it, but the company changed their mind when they saw that we were bringing these things to help people in need, and offered to do it for free. The following day, the team travelled on a plane reserved just for us. When we reached Adana, we were pleasantly surprised when the agencies came to us and asked how they could help. We told them we needed transport to take our equipment and medicines to our base camp, and they immediately arranged a truck to bring everything to our camp, which was five hours away from the airport and free of charge.
Early in the same morning, we were informed that there were no suitable sleeping arrangements. I was concerned about where the team would stay. However, during the flight, I received a call from Hammad Härter Sahib from our base camp. He informed me that we had been assigned a new coordinator who spoke good English and had offered us a large tent for our medical facilities. This coordinator had also arranged for us to have sleeping quarters with a bathroom for the team. Everything was ready just in time for our team’s arrival, and they could start working immediately.
Alhamdulillah, Humanity First is now active in the provinces of Hatay and Osmaniye. Currently, there are 31 aid workers on the ground, including seven doctors, who have already provided medical care to over 580 patients. Additionally, evacuations are being carried out, with 80 people having been relocated from the crisis area. For this purpose, 20 tents and a house for refugee families have been rented. More than 400 families are being provided with blankets and other important items, such as food packages and hygiene products.
In the two refugee camps where the Humanity First team is working, they are responsible for the care of a total of 2,500 people.
We are thankful to the Turkish government for providing us with an ambulance that has been instrumental in enabling our doctor to offer medical care to nearby villages. Above all, we are grateful to God Almighty for accepting Huzoor’saa prayers and thereby helping us overcome the challenges that we faced in the most unexpected and miraculous ways. Alhamdulillah.
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