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Monday, January 18, 2010

Aid workers arrive in Haiti

Discussing logistics and security on the way to Haiti, Islamic Relief's emergency-response team agrees to terms in the event that security is compromised on the road. (Islamic Relief / Omar Mullick)

Islamic Relief emergency responders arrived in Haiti yesterday to find the stench of death in the air. Thousands of earthquake victims have began to wander into the countryside with no clear destination, so they can escape the death and destruction of Haiti's devastated capital, Port-au-Prince.

An Islamic Relief staff member in Haiti, Adil Husseini, shared his experience from the field in a diary entry:

Port-au-Prince greeted us with the smell of death.

Nothing hit us like seeing the dead bodies; their stench overpowered
everything else.

As we entered deeper into the heart of the city it became apparent how the infrastructure that was once in place had been brought to its knees. People were trying to keep hold of anything they found or were able to salvage amidst the disaster.

Some had taken to looting and the local security struggled to bring a sense of order to a community so desperate and still very much in a state of shock.

At the gas station, huge crowds gathered to fill their vehicles with the last remaining
drops from a tanker that had been abandoned. A local Haitian told us that fuel prices had risen by over 60 percent in the last few days.

Port-au-Prince has been devastated by this catastrophe. Huge buildings have been completely destroyed, cars are crushed under the rubble, homes have been abandoned and families have been broken.

The Islamic Relief team here is assessing the situation to help meet people’s needs but the task is not easy. Many roads are blocked off and the lack of security is increasingly becoming an issue.

To read more about Islamic Relief's response, click here.

Haiti needs your help. Click here to donate.


  1. let's let it be known that muslims are helping in haiti. we need news coverage that we share in giving to the needy and not just with money, but in person on the ground. too often i hear, 'when are muslims ever helping anyone ,but themselves.' my imam gave a beautiful talk in danbury on our duty to help all people when a crisis happens anywhere as well as our joy in giving and helping.

  2. let us help first and worry about the media coverage later.

  3. We help to please Allah, not to show the world.

  4. Your help in Haiti is a living example of how every true Muslim should live their lives - by helping everyone and anyone in need of help irrepective of their faith and color. Your humanitrian work upholds our Prophet Muhammad's message of peace for mankind.

    Thank you and May all of us learn to live in peace


  5. Peace to All,

    We need to seek out peoples who are in the same conditions as the Haitians prior to the destruction of the earthquake and help them gain a social and infrustructional standing that can withstand such blows (like earthquakes). Pre-emptive, not reactionary; and even if it is in opposition to man-made policies to prevent that type of relief.


  6. salaam
    I am Muslim and Haitian, brothers I am very thankful for your help. There are many Muslims in Haiti, I hope we can make connections with them so that the community can be united.

  7. Both of them are good deeds.Helping in seeking the pleasure of ALLAH and also for the media because when muslims do good things and is potrayed in the media will help bring people to islam and soften hostile attitude towards muslims.Charity and helping people its a very efective way to make dawah.......

  8. Just 3 people on the one team? Sounds more like tourists then relief workers.

  9. Make that 4 people, I forgot the camera man. And still no supplies shipped or people helped. Got to do something to justify the $2.5 million collected.

  10. Prove these comments are not true. Tell us how many people Islamic Relief has sent to Haiti. Better yet, give us their names so they can be recognized as heroes.

    Post the airway bill to show that the goods have been shipped.

    Otherwise, those who hate Islam will use this against Islam.

  11. To the person who posted above, this statement: "Just 3 people on the one team? Sounds more like tourists then relief workers.
    Make that 4 people, I forgot the camera man. And still no supplies shipped or people helped. Got to do something to justify the $2.5 million collected."

    Please read this article to understand why the Islamic Relief team was so small to begin with.

    They were the 'scouting party' so to speak, there to assess how bad the situation is, without adding more pressure on the Haitians to feed and shelter them when Haiti is struggling to feed and shelter its own devastated people at this time.

    Besides this, you might have noticed that the Islamic Relief tam is atually working with an existing organization that has better and deeper long-time roots in Haiti -- the church of Latter-Day Saints. I am sure the church organization already had a goodly number of relief workers present, with whom the Islamic Relief USA has made a connection.

    If you have been keeping up with the news from Islamic Relief, today they have written on their website that they have sent a large shipment of food and medical supplies from Miami airport.

    They have finished assessing and moved on to sending exactly what is needed by the Haitians. Thre's the 2.5 million dollars beginning to become tangible relief.

    Salaam to all,
    sister Aisha

  12. So the 4 person team (with the $2.5 million donations) did not trust the UN, the media, and the rest of the world to relay how bad it is. They went to see themselves. Lookup the definition of "tourist."

    It is easy to hang a banner on some cargo. That does not mean it is really what it claims to be.

    Show me I am wrong, post the required Shippers Export Declaration (SED) and the airway bill. Then we will know what the donations were spent on.

  13. Why isn't there anything on this partnership on the Mormon's website about Haitian relief?

  14. There are some twitter photos from the team. There is a blurry lake photo (that could be any lake), some dark photos of the interior of a cargo plane, and some unidentified black man standing somewhere in the world.

    There are twitter comments about 36 hour days setting up tents.

    So why not even one twitter photo of this camp set up by Islamic Relief USA showing all the good work done by the team? Also why not give the camp's location so the mainstream media can give the coverage due?

    Unless of course none of this is true.

  15. Here's a link to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints newsroom article about their partnership w/ Islamic Relief USA.

  16. Thanks for all the comments. If you're on twitter you can follow Anwar Khan, VP of Fund Development. He's posting lots of pics. More pics and videos are on their way.

  17. Thank you for the link. According to it:

    "Islamic Relief USA, America’s largest Muslim relief organization, has donated the cost of transporting the supplies via the Dominican Republic to Haiti. IR has also been distributing clean drinking water to Haitians in Port-au-Prince."

    So the Mormons paid for the goods and IRUSA is going to pay for the transportation. So what is preventing IRUSA from posting the Shippers Export Declarations (SEDs) and the airway bills?

    And where are those photos of the camp the IRUSA is allegedly setting up along with its location?

    Shipping 160,000 pounds does NOT cost $1 million dollars so where is the rest of the money going or gone to?

  18. After posting my last questions I visited AnsarKhan's twitter page (see upper right of this page). He has posted a photo of a tent school room.

    I have reviewed the photo. It is clear from the Islamic Relief USA symbols on the surrounding tents, that this is IRUSA's tents. I then reviewed the signage in the background. They are of companies doing business in Haiti.

    Bottomline, I am confident that IRUSA is doing what it says it is doing and has established a tent camp for Haitian victims in Haiti. I am sending in a donation to help them with their confirmed good work. I would suggest that anyone, Muslim or nonMuslim consider IRUSA as the receipant for their donations.

  19. Thanks for voicing your concerns.

    In addition to the aid shipment, Islamic Relief's teams are working hard in Port-au-Prince, distributing food and water to people in the streets.

    Also, Islamic Relief constructed and is currently operating one of the few organized camps for homeless earthquake victims.

    Services include: food, water, healthcare, sanitation facilities, shelter, and education.

    If you would like to see pictures, please visit these links:

    Please follow @AnwarKhan_IRUSA for more updates.

    Thanks again.

  20. As-Salaam wa laikum wa Rahmatullah brothers and sisters,

    May Allah (swt) grants the entire staff of Islamic Relief jannah (paradise) for the much needed relief efforts you are providing in Haiti during this unprecedented hardship following this 7.0 earthquake on January 12, 2010 and its many aftershocks.

    KISKEYA WITHOUT BORDERS is a Haitian grassroots organization based in Georgia, USA with mostly Haitian nationals. We are providing interpreters to the international commuity for our suffering brothers and sisters in Haiti.

    Please contact us via email or by phone if Islamic Relief needs qualified Haitian Creole interpreters while in Haiti.

    As-Salaam wa laikum,

    Viking Merceron
    (404) 553-5334

  21. Thanks for the offer. We'll keep the idea in mind. However, at this time we are not in need of translation services.

  22. Thank you for all that you have done. The collaboration of Islamic Relief USA with the LDS Church speaks volumes of hope to this observer.

  23. USA with mostly Haitian nationals. We are providing interpreters to the international commuity for our suffering brothers and sisters in Haiti.