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Inspiring Stories
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Sister’s emotional plea to rescuers as she protects sibling in the rubble



North Syria

Cerith Gardiner - published on 02/09/23

As the death toll continues to climb after the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, there have been some positive stories to give us hope.

When a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on Monday, leaving thousands dead, most of us have been left feeling helpless as we watch the death toll continue to rise.

Although the faithful have offered up much-needed prayers for the victims and their families, and others have donated to worthy causes, seeing the incredible and relentless work from the rescuers, and watching some of the victims emerge seemingly unscathed, has given us the feeling of hope that is so vital at times like these.

As is so often the case in terrible times, these positive stories remind us of the good in the world. And this is just the situation for the Al Sayed family, who were rescued from the rubble near in northern Syria.

The family, including three young children, had been asleep when the earthquake struck and spent 36 hours under the rubble. Big sister Mariam had been protecting her little sibling Ilaaf by managing to cover his face from the falling dust.

As the family waited for help, they recited the Quran, and prayed:

“We felt the ground shaking … and rubble began falling over our head, and we stayed two days under the rubble. We went through, a feeling, a feeling I hope no one has to feel,” shared the father, Mustafa Zuhir Al Sayed.

Thankfully their prayers were answered:

“People heard us, and we were rescued — me, my wife and the children. Thank God, we are all alive and we thank those who rescued us,” Al Sayed explained.

As the rescuers came to help the stranded family, little Mariam could be heard saying: “Get me out of here, I’ll do anything for you,” according to CNN. And heart-breakingly she even implored: “I’ll be your servant.”

The fact that the youngster felt she had to bargain for her life can only be indicative of her complete terror, and perhaps her experience of growing up in a war-torn country.

However, seeing an entire family rescued brought much joy to the crowds of exhausted rescuers and onlookers, spurring them on to keep searching for those trapped in mountains of rubble. And of course, it encourages us to keep these victims, and their rescuers, very much in our prayers.

FamilyInspiring storiesSyria
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