Dear UW community and friends,

I am writing to you with a heavy heart. I am watching a nightmare unfold in my homeland. 

As you have likely heard, thousands of people have lost their lives and homes in two major earthquakes, reaching a magnitude of 7.8, that struck Turkey and Syria early Monday morning. In Turkey alone, around 6,500 buildings collapsed, including hospitals. As the death toll nears 12,000, many more are still trapped under the debris. People are waiting for a sign, just a single word from their loved ones who are stuck under the debris; the rubble that was once their home. Unfortunately, for some, including many refugees located in the region, this is not the first time that they have lost their home. Rescue teams and civilians are working in freezing conditions day and night, knowing that the toll will rise inevitably. Survivors are trying to comprehend what has happened to them under harsh winter conditions. We are torn apart. This nightmare is our reality. The people of the region need your help. 

I ask for your help, knowing firsthand the generosity of this community.

Please consider donating to organizations to help search and rescue efforts and support those affected by the earthquake:

Thank you,


Canan Bolel
Assistant Professor
Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

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