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Supporting earthquake victims, South Asian bone marrow donors, and a mom exclusive.
Your 285 South News Roundup.
Death toll from earthquake in Syria and Turkey surpasses 11,000: And World Health Organization officials expect it to rise, as search and rescue operations continue after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the region on Monday.
Fevzi Karabulu, who owns a restaurant in downtown Atlanta and is originally from Turkey, said his family was okay, but that the family of his Turkish friend who also lives in Atlanta, wasn’t. "He just posted his morning that his cousin and kids died – four or five of them," he told 11 Alive’s Paulo Suro. Read the story here.
The Ethaar Foundation, a metro-Atlanta based organization that provides assistance to refugees resettling here, has posted this list of organizations to donate to support those impacted by the quake.
"We are heartbroken by the circumstances by which their life was taken from us": The family of Manuel Teran, the activist who was shot by 13 bullets on January 18th at the site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, gathered in Decatur on Monday, to speak to members of the press. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has stated that Teran shot first, before state troopers returned fire. GBI is conducting an investigation into the circumstances of Teran’s death. The family’s attorney said, "They are not answering questions. They are not providing the family with any information to understand what happened.” Read the story here.
The lingering impacts of a deadly nitrogen leak in Gainesville: Last week marked the second anniversary of a nitrogen leak in a poultry facility that killed six workers on January 28th, 2021. “Just yesterday, I had a call with a worker that was crying because the anniversary [of the leak] was coming up. And they were reliving everything that went down,” said Stephanie Lopez-Burgos, a legal advocate at Sur Legal, an immigrant and workers’ rights non-profit, in an interview with the AJC’s Lautaro Grinspan. Around 65 percent of foreign workers in Gainesville lack legal status, according to the AJC report, which limits their job options and leads to a climate of fear around conditions at the factories. Read the full story here.
Request for hygiene items for newly arriving families: New American Pathways says it is in urgent need of hygiene items for its immigrant and refugee clients: “With a large influx of arrivals many of our clients need items like toilet paper, deodorant, soap, and laundry detergent,” the group wrote in an Instagram post. More info here and here’s the Amazon wishlist.
The need for more South Asian bone marrow donors: Just three percent of donors on the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) registry are South Asian, creating an extra layer of life threatening challenges for South Asians diagnosed with leukemia. “Since donors from a similar ethnic background are more likely to be a match, the need is urgent for South Asian donors to come forth for this life-saving procedure,” writes Tanya Lutfeali Lalani, an Oncology Nurse Practioner at Northside Hospital, in a recent article in Khabar magazine. She’s encouraging folks (South Asians specifically) to register to become donors at BeTheMatch.org. Read the story here.
ICYMI: One man’s journey from a boat in the Bay of Bengal to Metro Atlanta: In my latest story for Atlanta Magazine, I profiled the journey of Abu Talib, a member of the Rohingya community, who left his home in Myanmar at age 12, on a boat. He’s built a life here in Clarkston, but conditions for many of his family members, who live in one of the world’s largest refugee camps in Bangladesh, are deteriorating. I spoke to him about his recent trip to the refugee camp, where he saw his parents for the first time in 16 years. Read the full story.
And finally, a mom exclusive. I had the honor of speaking to Sana Al-Qawasmi, mother of House Representative Ruwa Romman, for a profile I wrote on the 29 year old Palestinian lawmaker. Sana told me it was the first time she was being interviewed by a journalist, ever! We talked about what it was like for her to leave Jordan and move to Atlanta, making neighborhood friends in Alpharetta through Palestinian tea (key ingredient: dried sage from Jordan), and how she played a role in her daughter’s campaign. You can find parts of that interview with Sana and Ruwa, in the Atlanta Civic Circle series, “Representing Georgia.”
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