In the wake of adversity, humanity’s capacity for compassion shines most brilliantly. This story unfolds in Morocco, where the tremors of a 6.8 magnitude earthquake left survivors in dire need of shelter, sustenance, and warmth. However, amid this tragedy, two remarkable British Muslims, Ismail Esat and Zaheer Bhai, stepped forward, selflessly canceling their holiday plans to provide essential aid and solace to those affected.
Ismail Esat and Zaheer Bhai are not strangers to Morocco; they have long cherished the country as a vacation destination. But when the tremors of the earthquake struck the High Atlas Mountains, their vacation plans took an extraordinary turn. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, they decided to channel their efforts towards relief operations.
What truly sets this noble endeavor apart is that Ismail and Zaheer self-funded their visit to Morocco. Upon hearing the distressing news, they initiated a fundraising campaign that yielded more than £17,000. This financial support would be instrumental in procuring and distributing essential aid to the areas most profoundly affected by the quake.
Ismail shared his perspective, saying, “Our original plan was to go on holiday, but then we decided this was far more important. We already help with local charities there and have been doing so for eight years and wanted to do all we could.” The duo’s dedication to serving the Moroccan community is evident, as they continued, “We are supplying aid to the villages that are not reachable by many charity organizations.”
Their journey took them into the heart of the Atlas mountains, where they witnessed the devastation firsthand. Ismail remarked, “We went up in the Atlas mountains where most of the houses were just flattened and where over a thousand people died underneath the rubble.” Their presence, coupled with the aid they provided, undoubtedly brought hope and solace to those in dire need.
The earthquake that struck Morocco on the 8th of September at 11:11 p.m. had catastrophic consequences, particularly in mountain villages near the epicenter. These villages, now in ruins, saw the loss of at least 2,946 lives, with most casualties occurring outside Marrakesh. The United Nations reported that approximately 300,000 people were likely affected by the earthquake, including 100,000 children.
In this time of crisis, numerous Islamic charities such as Muslim Hands, Islamic Relief, Penny Appeal, and Muslim Aid have also issued appeals for donations. The outpouring of support from the Muslim community worldwide highlights the unity and compassion that define the core values of Islam.
Ismail Esat and Zaheer Bhai’s selfless act of canceling their vacation to provide aid exemplifies the best of humanity. Their dedication and generosity serve as a shining example for us all, reminding us that in times of hardship, unity, compassion, and selflessness can heal the deepest wounds and bring hope to those in need.