International News

Student orgs raise awareness in wake of disasters in Libya, Morocco

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

Natural disasters in Libya and Morocco have led to the death of thousands and have devastated both nations in all aspects. Now, both nations are in the process of restoration and rebuilding.

Many student organizations have used their platforms to make a difference and raise awareness of the ongoing devastation and suffering. 

In Morocco, a  6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Atlas Mountains region near Marrakesh last month. Shortly, in Libya Storm Daniel pummeled the town of Derna and led to the collapse of two dams.

Climate change may have accelerated and aggravated the storm in Libya, according to experts and researchers

The higher atmospheric temperature of the area and the warmer waters played a critical role in bringing such an unprecedented natural disaster to a highly vulnerable and resource-limited country. Further raising concerns about the role developed nations play in managing the effects of climate change.

The UN humanitarian aid response has moved its disaster response to supporting survivors with food, shelter, and medicine. International agencies and support for Morocco has been crucial in ensuring an efficient and proactive response. 

However, international aid has been complicated by geopolitical issues for Libya. While many Libyan students at UH were not directly impacted, they have expressed their sympathy towards the disaster. 

“On a personal level, as a Libyan, I do have great empathy for my ones who were impacted,” said economics sophomore, Sahar El Hoderi. “After realizing the intensity of the flood I went the through three sleepless nights and not being able to eat. The worst part was imagining what it was like for them while it was happening.”

Student organizations such as Ahlul Bayt Student Organization, Model Arab League and Muslim Student Association have all taken the initiative to raise awareness and support for those impacted in Libya and Morocco. 

“We’ve been proactive in raising support and awareness about the events in Libya and Morocco by creating an infomercial to guide our followers on how to help,” said business management sophomore and MSA representative, Maryam Morsi. “The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, with our followers appreciating the clarity on how they can make a difference.”

The MSA has played a critical role in responding to tragedies and disasters by serving as a hub of information and resources. They are responsible for organizing and mobilizing communities, offering direct support to those affected and raising funds through donation drives.

“By amplifying the voices of those in need, we contribute to a collective effort to address these issues,” Morsi said. 

University organizations have encouraged students to care and contribute to the cause because lives are actively being lost. Many Libyan and Morrocan people are enduring immense suffering, not only losing their homes but also their loved ones, Morsi said. 

“When we collaborate and coordinate our efforts, we can create a stronger and more effective response to humanitarian crises,” Morsi said. “Together, we can make a difference and bring hope to those who need it most.”

MSA stressed solidarity and unity among students and organizations to make a meaningful impact. 

“I appreciated the MSA support in raising funds for both Libya and Morocco,” said El Hoderi. “However, on an overall level, there was a noticeable neglect from the media in delivering the severity of the situation.”

El Hoderi explains that she felt that there was almost no empathy for the 10,000 dead Libyans. It took news media a week to shed a justified amount of coverage on Libya.

“I’d like for students to deeply understand that the people affected had future hopes, feelings, loved ones, and were so ready to wake up the next day for a peaceful beautiful day,” El Hoderi said. “But the 10,000 including parents, children, teenagers and young adults did not have that chance the next morning.”

Students can help by donating money to organizations providing aid to the two nations. 

Organizations such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Bank Al-Maghrib provide aid to people in Monaco. 

In addition to Libya in the UK, Islamic Relief and the International Medical Corps, these organizations donate support to people in Libya by providing them with necessities. 

Doctors Without Borders is focused on providing medical care and equipment to affected areas in both nations.

[email protected]


Leave a Comment