On February 6, parts of Turkey and Syria were struck with a violent earthquake with a magnitude of approximately 7.8 sending tremors to regions as far as Lebanon.
The event was marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition, causing wide and general destruction and wreaked havoc on areas that directly came under sudden and forceful contact with the earthquake. It is an incontestable fact that this event is a major misfortune that causes an unfortunate and distressing result.
As some parts of both countries were suddenly swept by strong earth shake, the totality of human beings can do nothing in the face of the anger of nature and natural causes.
As an extraordinary interruption, it cannot reasonably be prevented, nor can any act be interposed to keep away its occurrence. It is nature's irrefragable rules which are impossible to break or alter.
Scenes from distressed areas portray heartbreaking images of material destruction and loss of lives, bringing about an intense emotional reaction and response extended throughout the entire world and all the way from east to west. Such images irresistibly arouse sympathy and compassion, cause sorrow and distress, and show gloom and depression.
The material impact is not only strong and widespread, but indefinitely extensive and immeasurable by all scales.
It is, by all means, hard to arrange, grade or classify. Buildings, regardless of size or height, were either razed and destroyed to the ground or broken into pieces by earth's tremble, putting out of existence some settlements. Small hamlets, villages and towns were reduced to a ruinous state.
The event also resulted in great loss and perhaps lasting distress and suffering for those who lost their relatives as thousands of people lost their lives.
For the whole of the world, the event is marked by incorrigible anguish and distress and overcome by grief and despair.
There is no doubt that countries around the world are willing to extend their hands and extend support and aid to both Turkey and Syria, but the only thing nobody can do is to soothe the grief and unhappiness of those who lost their beloved and dear relatives.
As time passes, the lamentable consequences of the earthquake will be forgotten by other people, but deplorable deaths shall remain among those brokenhearted by the effects of this calamity.
As nobody at this point of time can bring comfort, solace and reassurance to distressed people, all we can do is to pray that Allah have mercy on the relatives of deceased ones and instil courage and patience to overcome the state of instability and insecurity among them.
We also pray that the structure that holds together the social edifice and the fabric of the society and that peace, composure and quietude, are soon brought back into its former and original state both in Turkey and Syria.
With will of Allah, the people of both countries regain, calmness and repose of mind and bearing.
Dr Musallam Al Maani
The writer is the Dean, Al Zahra College for Women