Muslim Student Association coordinates drives to provide relief for those affected by earthquakes in Turkey and Syria


Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Sadara Funches.

MSA members at their Syrian Aid table, West Haven, February 16, 2023.

After a catastrophic series of earthquakes that devastated the populations of Turkey and Syria, the University of New Haven came together to do their part and send over supplies. Leading the civil engagement was the Muslim Student Association (MSA), who coordinated two events last week.

On Feb. 6, two earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria, both registering magnitudes higher than seven on the Richter scale, less than 12 hours apart from each other. The death toll has climbed to over 40,000, with innumerable others being injured, displaced or otherwise affected.

Starting on Feb. 12, they concluded a four-day drive, accepting items such as gently used clothes and blankets, as well as medical supplies to be sent to Turkey. Youssef Ossama, MSA vice president and junior marketing major, said MSA “received over nine full bags of donations.”

Last Thursday and Friday, they accepted cash donations, which would be sent through the All Aid Syrians organization, raising $260 to send to those in need.

These acts of community service are nothing new for MSA, as the organization is dedicated to hosting one drive per month, even in the welcomed absence of tragedy.

Ossama recognizes that many students cannot often commit to donating, saying “We’re college students. We don’t want to [ask too much] of students,” he said. Ossama preached the importance of sharing initiatives to combat donation inactivity, such as “taking pictures of what [MSA] is doing, posting them on Instagram and telling friends to donate.”

For those that were able to help, no matter how big or small the contribution, Ossama would like to thank everyone that donated to both drives”.

“[MSA] is very happy and very grateful for it and hopefully we get that support for every single drive that we have,” he said.