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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Aid worker diary: IR USA at Libyan border

IR USA staff member Seyed Mowlana is at the Libyan border in Tunisia, assisting with Islamic Relief's efforts to aid Libya's refugees. Below, he shares his reaction to what he is seeing.

March 5, 2011

As we reached the end of our journey for the day, heading into Ras Jedir, a city bordering Libya, appearing before us were large groups of people on foot
attempting to cross into Tunisia.

I couldn’t help but notice the diversity of the crowd, and how the turmoil they left behind -and the trouble they were yet to face - had brought them so close together.

The businessmen and the street vendors now walking side by side, some with nothing but the clothes on their backs hoping Tunisia would have a better future to offer them.

Unfortunately, they still have a trying journey ahead.

There are a growing number of displaced refugees who are in need of shelter.

The numbers are rising daily, and 12,000 of those refugees are from Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are currently experiencing the utmost difficulty with poor living conditions in their camps.

These expatriates have hardly any food or water as they wait eagerly for their departure back to their homeland.

I had the opportunity to speak with one man who had just crossed the border describing his poor working conditions. He went on to say how a man had taken his cell phone and all the cash on him leaving him with absolutely nothing.

Yet this man still had a smile across his face praising God for bringing him to safety.

Islamic Relief is currently assisting with the logistics of getting these refugees back home safely as well as providing them shelter by setting up camps with much needed food and water.

This is the first day I have been here to experience the poverty and the dire need of these strong individuals looking for a better path to travel on, and I can only imagine what they have had to endure to get to this point.

One thing is certain, they have a strong belief that there is a better future awaiting them and their hope that relief is near. This is where we all step in and unite to make
this a reality.

Click here to read more about Islamic Relief's response in Libya.

To donate, click here.

To stay updated on Seyed's experiences in the field: Follow us on Twitter. Become a fan on Facebook.
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