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Friday, March 4, 2011

Aid worker diary: The simple things

Islamic Relief aid worker Salah Aboulgasem is currently at the border of Tunisia and Libya, delivering aid. Follow his regular blog.

03 March 2011

Saad and Imaad are two men from villages of Egypt who had been working just outside of Tripoli in Libya for the past two years to support their families. I sat with them for a while to understand their story and their needs. As we talked, the sun began to set and the cold began to take its place. You would think in the Middle East the weather would be constantly warm, but everyone here wraps up as much as possible by nightfall as the temperature plummets. The cold here is probably the one thing that reminds me of home.

Imagine sleeping outside in the cold open air, with strangers all around you and rubbish and dirt in every direction. It was also quite windy today so the sand was blowing in our faces. As I sit now writing this, I can feel the grains of sand in my hair, and I all I want to do is wash it out. It makes me think how those who have been here for weeks have survived. They have had to be so patient with everything that is happening with them.

The volunteers with us have been working endlessly for days, obviously getting extremely tired but still managing to carry on. To keep their spirits high, we began a small game of soccer while they were on a break. It was beautiful to see how people who just a few days ago didn’t know each other at all were now playing together as a team. It also amused us to see how so many of the young men around began to gather wanting to join the game. Such a simple way to distract everyone from the reality they were in.

People continue to stream in from the border and continue to need our assistance, so please help us to help them by giving generously and keeping the people of Libya in your prayers.
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