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Turkish aid group formerly based in Fishers helps earthquake victims

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Crescent Project, which used to be headquartered in Fishers, is asking for donations to help victims of an earthquake that killed thousands of people in Turkey and Syria.

“Sometimes they are digging by hand because they can’t get machinery and there’s snow and hail,” said Fouad Masri, founder of the Crescent Project.

The Christian organization connects with the Muslim community. It cannot get supplies directly into Turkey, so the group is raising money for relief workers on the ground.

“We raise the funds and we give them to contacts on the ground and the funds will go to purchase in country, you know food, diapers baby milk, shelter, blankets, tents,” Masri said.

Central Indiana has a sizable population of Turkish and Syrian residents, including Mohamad Almolhem who lives in Lebanon, Indiana. He was in the region for a medical procedure Monday when the quake struck.

Almolhem, speaking through an interpretation from his son, told News 8 on Tuesday, “He lost his auntie’s husband. He had four of his auntie’s children in the hospital injured, and four more that are under the ground right now, under the buildings. They are trying to dig them out.”

Masri of the Crescent Project, now based in Nashville, Tennessee, estimates 23 million people are affected by the quake. Many who survived are left with nothing.

“Where would they go? If most of the town is on the ground, if most of the town is on the ground because of the earthquake, where would you go? You can start a fire but you are in the open,” Masri said.

The contribute to the Crescent Project’s effort, go to its website.