Tuesday, February 14, 2023

A World Away and Right Next Door


Local connections can bring things that are worlds away as close as the next street over. On Monday, February 6, Ellicott City restaurant Syriana posted this photograph and the accompanying words.

Waking up for "rough" Mondays in winter can be harsh, but life is good in giving us perspectives. 

Today, millions in Syria and Turkey woke up 5:24am, local time, to a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake with a series of powerful aftershocks rendering 1,800 dead, and hundreds of thousands homeless in a brutal winter. This catastrophe mostly affected the most vulnerable of Syrians, already displaced to these areas after a brutal 12-year conflict. 

Our nonprofit, Syriana, is working to identify partner organizations working in the affected areas to support; here is an opportunity for anyone who would like to donate towards this fund Syriana

Let's be thankful for all the blessings we have, enjoy our days, and get out there and try to make a good difference wherever we can. and not forgot people in agony around the world.

Suddenly we saw that the humanitarian crisis that had seemed so far away was in the hearts of people in our community. 

I’ve written about Syriana before, after I read a BBC piece by Eliot Stein entitled, “Is this the new Main Street, USA?” It leads off with this sentence:

After a series of deadly floods ripped through a small US town, newly arrived Syrian immigrants banded together to help rebuild it.

Now Syriana is asking for our help to help the earthquake victims in their home country. On February 10th they announced they would be donating all of their profits until the end of February to the restaurant’s nonprofit organization for earthquake relief aid in Syria.


In Columbia, Nazar Produce Market has been a central point for collecting earthquake relief funds and materials for Turkey.

Turkish market lends helping hand in light of earthquake, Jack Watson, WMAR-2 ABC Baltimore 

The Turkish community in Maryland is trying to lend a helping hand to those suffering in Turkey - collecting donated blankets, sleeping bags, winter clothing, medicine and money.

For Marylanders with ties to Turkey, it's striking a heavy chord.

You can go to their page on Facebook to learn more about how you can help.

Our neighbors are bringing this natural disaster so much nearer and asking us to make their anguish our anguish. They are asking us to give of ourselves as they are giving. The personal connection brings it that much more into focus.

If you would like to help:

Syriana is located in Old Ellicott City:

8180 Main Street, Ellicott City, MD 21045

Nazar is in Columbia:

6955 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia, MD 21045

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