“Work is all that we need to recover,” says Mohammad, who is rebuilding his business after the earthquake in southern Türkiye

Published: Feb 19, 2024 Reading time: 3 minutes
Mohammad Al Hmadani, an Iraqi man, living in Adiyaman, Turkey.
© Photo: Majd Zaghir - People in Need

As the days pass following the devastating earthquake that hit Türkiye and Syria at the beginning of February, many stories continue to surface as reminders of how striking, big, shocking, and destructive the earthquake was that wiped out not just buildings, but dreams and stories, and buried them under the rubble.

“On Sunday, I met some of my friends and we planned for the coming week and talked about our future. On Monday morning all of that vanished, and many of my friends and their families died in their homes,” says Mohammad Alhamdani, an Iraqi man living in Adiyaman, southern Türkiye. “Our house was destroyed. We stayed one day under the rubble, my leg was badly damaged and my brother lost his life,” Mohammad recalls, describing the horrors he faced on the night of the earthquake.

Mohammad moved to Turkey in 2015, after ISIL took control of his village and killed his uncle. As an expert in decoration, Mohammad secured a good job for himself and started to build his life. “I worked for 5 years on many projects and saved money until I was able to open my own showroom 3 years ago. Back then, life and work were really good,” says Mohammad.

Unfortunately, the earthquake destroyed Mohammed’s life work. After leaving the hospital, he found that all of his life's work had vanished, and he was not able to save anything. “When I travelled from Iraq I left everything there, and after the earthquake, I lost it all. Even the laptop that contained all my clients’ data, including their debts, was gone. I was back to square one,” Mohammad explains. 

Despite all of this, and being broke, Mohammad didn’t give up. He joined the new marketplace in Adiyaman, where he tried to regain some of his clients. With support from People in Need, thanks to funds from Doosan Bobcat, he was able to take the first steps. “The cash grant was so important for me, as I was broke at that time and barely able to cover my medical expenses. I used the grant to buy some materials and sold them to my client to make a small profit,” says Mohammad.

Thanks to the funds from Doosan Bobcat, People in Need is supporting affected businesses in Türkiye with cash grants that aid in the recovery of both the businesses and the city. “We just want the support to get our work back on track again, after that, we can fulfil all of our needs and help rebuild the city and the economy,” says Mohammad. “Work is not the same anymore, as many experienced workers have either left or died. But we will keep on working because work is all that we need to recover,” he adds.   

Autor: Majd Zaqhir, PIN Middle East Regional Communication Officer

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