Home>National>Three mayors seek U.S. aid for earthquake victims in Syria, Turkey

Mayor André Sayegh at the State of the State address before a joint session of the New Jersey Legislature on January 10, 2023. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Three mayors seek U.S. aid for earthquake victims in Syria, Turkey

By David Wildstein, February 07 2023 9:19 pm

Three Syrian American mayors in New Jersey want the U.S. government to provide assistance to the earthquake victims in Southern Turkey and Northern Syria, including equipment.

Montvale Mayor Michael Ghassali and Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah, who were both born in Aleppo, along with Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, whose mother is Syrian,  also want the federal government to identify organizations that can receive relief donations without being flagged as violating current sanctions against the Syrian government.

“With over 5,000 people killed due to the collapsing infrastructure, right now, we are in a race against time to save hundreds, if not thousands of people that are trapped and still may be alive,” Khairullah said. “It is imperative that we work with our partners at the federal level and abroad to fight to ensure no stone is left unturned to find every remaining survivor.”

Sayegh said that the mayors are “joining forces to save lives in Syria and Turkey.”

“This is a humanitarian effort that requires complete cooperation and seamless coordination,” he said.  “I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow Americans in this endeavor.”

Ghassali wants sections lifted temporarily to “allow help and resources to reach the needy directly on the ground in Syria.”

“With death toll rising and thousands without shelter or food, this is becoming a humanitarian disaster by the minute,” Ghassali explained.

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