Community comes together in support of Middle East earthquake vi - WNEM TV 5

Community comes together in support of Middle East earthquake victims

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Thousands of people in the Middle East were left in destruction and in need of shelter and the most basic necessities after the most powerful earthquake this year.

Now Mid-Michigan families are helping those who need it most.

"The first reaction as a community was to pray," said Shona Siddiqui, outreach coordinator for the Flint Islamic Center.

On Sunday, the border region between Iran and Iraq experienced the deadliest earthquake to date in 2017. The 7.3 magnitude quake killed more than 500 people and injured thousands more.

Siddiqui said now is the time to come together as a community. She said it is never easy dealing with a disaster.

"Like everyone else, we were absolutely devastated when we heard about the earthquake which hit the Iran/Iraq border. As first it didn't seem like it was going to be much, but then we heard that it caused massive, massive horrific lives being lost," Siddiqui said.

She said she doesn't know any victims or the families affected personally, but she said that doesn't matter.

The community will be holding a collective prayer at the Flint Islamic Center on Friday on behalf of those whose lives have been devastated.

"When our brothers and sisters are suffering, it's a reaction for humanity that we are suffering as a whole," Siddiqui said.

She said any relief efforts are helpful, but at this point material donations are just too difficult to send overseas.

"Cash is always best. People always say let's round up supplies and send those. But that's not the best reaction. We need to get the agencies so they can get to the people immediately," Siddiqui said.

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