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Sharing Bahrain’s compassion

By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood

The sheer enormity of the two disasters which struck the Middle East over the past fortnight – the Marrakech earthquake and the Libyan floods which swept away the Mediterranean city of Derna – have left us all horrified.

We are all united in prayer for the swift rescue and rehabilitation of survivors and the stitching together of the torn social and economic fabric of the region.

Rightly, our charitable King, HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has immediately directed the Royal Humanitarian Foundation (RHF) to use its considerable expertise and volunteer strength as well as generous funds to support the international cause of disaster relief for the two countries.

While funding is always essential in rebuilding disaster-hit zones, we should not underestimate the importance of volunteerism and expertise in management of post-crisis rehabilitation.

The RHF has excellent credentials for this – whether the Nepal earthquake or the Pakistan floods or continuous support of refugee camps in the Syria-Jordan border and Palestinian children’s care, the RHF soldiers of peace led by the clear-eyed Representative of HM the King, HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad and the energy and excellent organizational skills of Secretary-General Dr. Mustafa AlSayed has built a successful template of disaster response that has touched and transformed many lives.

There are many charities in Bahrain which serve local causes – we should encourage them to participate in micro collections at their level for Libya and Morocco either in cash or kind or even perhaps, a sort of Volunteers Without Borders effort where doctors, nurses, psychiatrists who can help traumatized victims and engineers who can help rebuild affected areas can offer time and free service under the umbrella of the RHF.

Now that His Majesty and the RHF have shown the way, we too must rise to the occasion.


Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism