Tuesday, October 03, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 17, 1445 H
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Flow of humanity & show of solidarity


Friday being the first weekend after the Shaheen cyclone that hit Al Batinah, a sea of humanity was seen visiting the cyclone-affected areas with all sorts of relief materials like food, clothes, tents, and furniture etc.

Some rescuers visited the cyclone site with mops, spades, shovels, and essential carpentry tools. They were equipped with industry gloves and shoes to take up the task of cleaning, and if necessary fixing the things within their own limitations.

Some just dropped in and took part in the cleaning as a helping hand to many others who were already doing the job.

“Not less than 20,000 people visited Al Khabourah and Al Suwaiq along with relief and rescue materials. Everyone was on a mission to re-establish the people who were uprooted by the cyclone Shaheen just four days ago,” said Ali Muqbali, an Ibri resident who works in Muscat. He took part in the relief operation as a volunteer with a group of people from his office.

Ali goes to Ibri every weekend. This weekend he chose not to go to Ibri, to give a helping hand to Al Suwaiq people who were badly affected by Shaheen.

“What I saw there was unbelievable. It was a unique show of solidarity for the people of Al Suwaiq. There were people from all over Oman — including Dhofar, which is some 1,000km from Al Suwaiq. They came just to help the people of Al Suwaiq without any request from the government or any other agency. It was a rare show of humanity and commitment, and it was very touching.”

Ali lapsed into emotions when he visited an affected house to clean and offer some relief materials he was carrying. “The lady owner of the house politely told me to visit the other house behind her house, telling me they were more affected than her.”

These volunteers are proving to be a great help for the government authorities, who are busy with major tasks of establishing connectivity, assessing the loss, and offering immediate relief to the affected people.

Humanity is at work in Al Suwaiq. “People from all nationalities, Indians, Asians, Europeans, Americans — you name it, and they are there to help people out in cyclone-affected areas,” said Ali.

Omar al Jabri and Firas al Balushi were also part of random volunteers who chose to spend their weekends more constructively.

“And what can be better than this — working for people who were the victims of the cyclone. It is a different matter that Shaheen made landfall in Al Batinah. It might have been Muscat or any other place. So I felt my duty to be here and serve the people,” said Omar. Firas was moved by the commitment of some college students who came to Al Suwaiq the very next day of the cyclone and started cleaning affected houses.

“They claimed to have cleaned 48 houses in four days, which was amazing, and there was no sign of tiredness on their faces. On the contrary, they were eager to do and do more,” said Firas.

The most beautiful part was singing and drum beating by a group of volunteers after cleaning one area and moving to another. They would sing the song of accomplishing one task and moving for another with full enthusiasm and happiness.

“You can win any situation if you have this kind of spirit. These volunteers have capability to turn crisis into capability. They deserve our praise,” said an old man who lost his house to cyclone Shaheen.

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