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Indy men with family impacted by Turkey, Syria earthquake share concern

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s been tough waiting to hear from family members caught in the chaos left by the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria. But two Indianapolis men with ties to the region say they feel some relief knowing their family members are alive, but they are worried about what comes next.

They say it’s been a tough decade for people living in Syria and Syrian refugees living in Turkey. This earthquake is another hard blow to people just trying to make it. And watching the devastation, hoping for good news made for a tough 48 hours.

The devastation is hard to tally, and we may never know just how many people are lost in the rubble. For Mouhammad Yabrodi, he feels some relief knowing his brother is alive, but the grief still finds its way in.

“It’s really very hard to see that. Especially we know these people this is our family. This is our country. This is our people who are really suffering for almost 12 years,” Yabrodi said.

He’s a native of Damascus, Syria, but moved to the states in the early 2000s. Many in his family got caught up in a long-standing war under what he calls a brutal regime. And this is another blow to a family and an entire region familiar with tragedy.

“In one day, and one minute he lost everything he lost his building. The building was down, and he was very lucky to be safe and escape the building,” Yabrodi said.

The first 48 hours after the earthquake, he says family couldn’t reach his brother. So, the fear started setting in. A sense of relief rushed over him when his brother finally called.

“He called and said I’m safe. I escaped with my family. I am in a very safe zone right now,” Yabrodi said.

Kamal Abulebda is also from Syria, but Aleppo is home. His immediate family also escaped the war in 2013, but countless friends, cousins and uncles are there. Coping with the earthquake’s devastation.

“It’s a very challenging situation with no accurate number of who’s alive and who’s dead. And we may never know about that,” Abulebda said.

But unlike earthquake victims in Turkey, who can expect help from other nations, in Syria, due to the regime, fewer resources, sanctions, and guarded borders… help may never come.

“A lot of rescue efforts in Aleppo are being made individually by people who are using their bare hands to remove the debris. To remove the stones and get people out,” he said.

He says the news doesn’t cover the true tragedy happening daily, so peoples suffering is ignored. Both hope sharing these stories shines a light on the hardship in the region.

They say support comes in all shape. it’s not always financial. It can be sharing a story to increase awareness or even sending out a prayer.