The AsiaN witnesses a humanitarian mission in Tunisia

Khalid Suleiman gives a smiling hope to the handicapped Samar, and her mother.

*Editor’s note: This is a story of the humanitarian mission conducted by a local office in the northwest region of Tunisia. The mission was covered by Mr. Khalid Suleiman, Egyptian writer living in Tunisia, and correspondent of the AsiaN, with an icon of the Tunisian media Mrs. Saida Al-Zoghbi, the Asia Journalist Association member.

“The load of the group becomes feathers” is an old Tunisian saying which means however heavy the responsibilities, when a group of people share it, it becomes as light as feathers.

This saying is the number one role for the activities done by “The local office for retirees in the sixth avenue”. Through that, they’re hoping to erase the effects of the old regime which led to separation between these offices and for it to do only routine official jobs with no real activity except for taking some pictures to comfort the regime, that they aren’t revealing any of its cons.

Everyone helped in carrying the supplies

Samar try to walk with the help of hands and hearts

One of these cons is the state of the “north-west of Tunisia” which got its share of relief convoys and charities. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Tunisia, it’s rich with water supplies, woods, and farming areas. Despite that, it’s one of the poorest places in Tunisia because of having been neglected for decades. It turned into a place full of unemployment and crimes, starting with smuggling fuel and goods through the borders to smuggling weapons.

But after the revolution its disastrous state was finally shown, especially in the infrastructure and health care. It was stunning to see people living in caves or juts made out of mud along with their cows, goats, and birds in the cold weather and heavy rain, without any heating means. It wasn’t surprising to see kids going to schools without heavy clothes to protect them from the cold, or wearing only sandals.

Dry foods are the most useful for emergency help

The delegation traveled for completeing the mission

There’s also the problem of wild animals like wild boars and wolves which endanger children and shepherds, without any means to protect them or offering enough health care.

You can easily, when you first start talking to people there, find them complaining about the lack of life requirements, as some of them even crossed the borders going to Algeria, asking for aids or even staying there after the floods of 2012. Citizens of “Tabrqa” city, say that the last time they got real care was in the reign of “Habib Bourguiba”, and that they are getting their daily necessities like milk and macaroni and even fuel, through smuggling from the Tunisian-Algerian borders.

Samar's mother speaks to Mrs. Saida Al-Zoghbi, The AsiaN

With the beginning of winter 2013, “The local office for retirees in the sixth avenue” was prepared to do some voluntary work to help the people of “Fernana”. A special group was formed consisting of Mr. AbdelAziz AlAhmar, the head of the office, his two assistants “Asmaa AlZawadi” and “Menyar Bin Mansour”, and the rest of the office members. “The AsiaN” had the honor of taking part in the convoy, as the writer of this article took part, along with “Saeeda AlZoghby Khaled” The AsiaN’s audiovisual advisor.

An old post card, of Fernana, the Arabic legendary spot on the far north west of Tunisia

The convoy consisting of two trucks and a bus along with a number of volunteers, all headed to the town of “Fernana”, also large sums of money was to be handed too to be used in making urgent surgeries and buying necessary equipments, to the head of a charity organization there, Mr. Mohsen AlDabousy.

sewing machines help orphans a lot for better income

Mr. Mohsen said to us that because the floods last year were too much, a lot of convoys were sent, it was over 25 convoy. While this year they only had 3 convoys to help them, which isn’t enough to help them.

We left the village of “Fernana” after “The local office for retirees in the Sixth Avenue” and “Charitable organization at Gandouba” both exchanged greetings and armors with the participation of “the AsiaN: Next News Network” after we promised them to let their message get through in all languages: Arabic, English, Korean and Chinese.

Parents try to keep calm, as Ms. Asmaa Zawadi writes the description of their son, whom was hit in head by fire, and could not live without head protector.

That area still needs a lot of help, the young student “Seif” needs a wheelchair to help him in his journey to university in that rocky area, the child “Samar” of five years old dreams of a device that would enable to stand and walk like all other children his age, and the little three years old boy who suffered a burn on top of his head due to an accident and can’t get through in the cold weather or the heavy sun without the worn head cap that he wears, we couldn’t even know his name because his parents kept crying.

Our convoy ended with the hope that there’d be others, and still a question arouses, will the world listen to the voices of these abandoned people?

Under the patronage of The AsiaN, Mr. Abdul-Aziz Al-Ahmer, Head of local office of Tunisian Society at Al Mazah 6, exchanges cerificats of appreciation with Mr. Mohsen Dabbousi, Head of Tunisian Society for Charity.

One Response to The AsiaN witnesses a humanitarian mission in Tunisia

  1. ShinHeuk Kang 20 March , 2013 at 6:21 pm

    It really helped me stay awake today. I think a very small try can make world seem gradually better and better. Seeing the local office help tunisians, they look to feel empathy. To me, empathy means Humanism. It is not an easy emotion to feel everyday. When the mission is too big and seemingly hard, some may trivialize a small task. I have come to realize that the apparent hard jobs, more often than not, are achieved by a sum of small tasks. it really helped me to know there are people who are in need of help.

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