LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansans on the other side of the world from their home in Morocco are asking their Natural State neighbors for help.
Over 3,000 Moroccans are confirmed dead following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on September 8. Many more are injured, and the displaced number is in the tens of thousands.
Miloud Bahadi has lived in White Hall for 15 years, but he was in Morocco visiting family when the earthquake struck. After a three-month trip, he was on the road to the airport when his mother ran outside, and his cousin became homeless.
When KARK 4 News met Bahadi, he was holding on to the Moroccan flag and sharing facts of his country.
“The longest unbroken treaty of friendship with the United States is with the Moroccans,” Bahadi stated.
Broken is how much of his birthplace’s landscape looks now. He’s seen a video of mountains shattering.
“A town that vibrant people doing their own thing and just in a matter of few seconds everything was under rubble,” Bahadi shared.
It’s been 10 days since rescue efforts began, and some people are still missing including the cousins of Terri Hayes’ husband. She left Arkansas and met Mounir Ben Khazzi, a Berber who grew up near Agadir, Morocco.
Hayes lived in Morocco for four years. Now stateside, her husband still sends money to the family.
“I took what I had for granted, and when you go there and see how poor those people are to start with your heart breaks anyway, and now to know the devastation they are having to deal with on top of it, they need our help,” Hayes said.
Hayes said when she was in Morroco her husband could take care of a month’s expenses with just $50. Hayes’ Moroccan family has a damaged home but has opened their doors to those with less. Now they are asking for those who can give a fraction of that love, to do so.
Bahadi also sends money to his mother overseas. He said it will be needed even more now with already multi-generational homes adding more mouths to feed.
“Being here in the United States won’t stop me from helping people overseas,” Bahadi said.
If you would like to donate to Moroccans in need, the Hayes’s brother-in-law will be bringing supplies by van or donkey in some of the harder-to-reach villages.