Ready immediately

Publish date 29-11-2023

by Chiara Vitali

«Do you see these? There are seven hundred sandwiches, we bought them together with water, pasta and tuna, now we're leaving." Badri Abdelghani lives in Morocco and is loading a car with food. It's the beginning of September, his country has just been hit by an earthquake that has overwhelmed people and homes, the deaths number in the thousands.

The epicenter was in the High Atlas mountains, in the center of the country, an area full of rural villages that live off tourism and agriculture. Small agglomerations, with dozens of streets flanked by houses built in traditional style, straw and earth, which seem to rise directly from the ground. With the tremors, they collapse: entire inhabited centers turn into rubble. We dig, and in the meantime a chain of solidarity is activated with minds and arms throughout Morocco.

Minds and arms like those of Badri Abdelghani, who works for the cooperative Friends Without Borders. "I left with my colleagues, we want to reach Tinmel, in the mountains" he explains in a video he sends to Italy. A few hours later, another arrives: "We have arrived, the people no longer have a home, they are sleeping on the street." In the background, dozens of men and women wave and eat what Abdelghani brought them. It is only the first of a series of trips to bring relief and humanitarian aid. «Insciallah, as God wants», he says at the end of each video.

But even far from the areas hit by the earthquake, the sense of community is felt strong. Consuelo Paris, who lives in Casablanca, 350 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake, says this. «We also felt the tremors – she says – we all took to the streets. In a short time, we gathered in small groups and we all started praying." On the street, in the flowerbeds, in the courtyards. «I found myself next to a lady who asked me to recite a rosary with her – Consuelo continues –. I am Christian, she is Muslim, we started praying together for all the people close to the epicentre." After the prayer, the hands were set in motion. «From here we try to organize logistical support for the most affected areas, it will take months to rebuild. Let's do what we can".

Chiara Vitali
NP October 2023

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