University of Manitoba students raise funds for African disasters

A crisis unfolding in northern Africa has prompted the local Muslim community to come together and raise funds to send as financial aid to thousands of mourning and displaced families.

A deadly earthquake hit the town of Oukaïmedene in western Morocco on Sept. 8, killing nearly 3,000 people. Just a few days later waters flooded eastern Libya, killing more than 6,000.

Thousands remain missing.

The disasters affeccted Winnipeg where members of the Muslim community are raising funds to send overseas.

“You’re helping someone to restart their life. Someone who has worked for 40, 50 years and they need a restart, and you’re there to do that,” said Ayesha Sultan, external relations manager for the University of Manitoba Muslim Student’s Association.

“Going ahead, anything they achieve is something you have helped them out with.”

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A Saturday food drive at the university mosque has yielded $4,300 thus far, with $3,500 gathered from previous drives and more cash expected in the coming days. Between 200 and 250 people attended Saturday’s fundraiser.

Muslim Student’s Association secretary Mubtassim Hossain Labib said even if their membership haven’t been personally affected, they still feel the impact of the tragedies.

“As a Muslim, we always feel like one body. So if a body of a Muslim hurts anywhere in the world, the whole body aches,” she said.

Donations are still being accepted and can be sent to

— with files from Katherine Dornian

Click to play video: 'Manitoban concerned over family in South Africa'

Manitoban concerned over family in South Africa

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