In the 20 years I’ve been at Daily Kos, I’ve supported or initiated countless fund-raisers, mostly on Indigenous matters, like propane for the freezing residents of the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota and get out the Native vote efforts in Montana, the Dakotas, Arizona, and New Mexico. I have contributed to fund-raisers for individual Kosacks who have run into rough patches. But I have never made a personal request before.
Now, I am.
My stepdaughter, Camila “Amira” Hashim, was raised in Libya but now lives and works in the United States. How she came to be here is a long and tangled story. She still has many friends in Libya, including one family in Derna, the eastern Libyan city that until Sunday’s flood was home to 90,000-100,000 people. As many as 20,000 may now be dead.
Kosacks who read Pakalolo’s posts on the subject here and here, or learned of this disaster from other sources, know just how dreadful it was. If you aren’t one of those, here’s the briefest of tastes from CNN:
[Tarek Fahim] moved the family to the rooftop, and they climbed up a water tank as the water kept rising. They survived. “Maybe one percent of those who lived on ground floors survived,” he says of his neighborhood around al-Fanar street. [...]
The remains of two people are in half-filled black bags on the ground. A pickup truck pulls up with two more bodies wrapped in blankets. “This one is too decomposed,” a volunteer shouts before putting them in white bags to load on a bigger truck. Officials try to document identities when possible ahead of mass burials at a different location. A small truck fumigates the air periodically as doctors and medics there warn of health hazards.. [...]
One of the women, Asma Awad, said she is still in disbelief. “It was the most beautiful city .. I used to call it the mermaid,” she told CNN, before bursting into tears. “Do you think it will ever rise up again?”
The dead will soon be in the ground, but the trauma of their passing will plague the survivors for years if not forever. Their immediate concern, however, is surviving in this wrecked city or wherever they find shelter elsewhere. Derna’s infrastructure has long been neglected, well before the civil war of 2011, whose fallout continues roiling a nation now split in two. Some destruction visited on the city could have been avoided if that infrastructure had been upgraded or even just repaired. But besides the loss of physical infrastructure, the disaster’s social and economic impacts will also be worsened from the lack of adequate “soft” infrastructure, not great before the flood, and now shattered. Those impacts will be felt long after the headlines have faded.
I know that many Kosacks already give what they can to organizations like the Red Cross or Red Crescent or other numerous relief organizations in order to help as many people as possible in the face of a disaster. All but the most affluent of us has limits and priorities on how much we can give to such broad efforts or to individuals. But if you can afford it, I urge you to please contribute to this GoFundMe that Camila has established for one family. Here is the link and text of the fundraiser.
Last Sunday, Sept. 10, Storm Daniel hit one of Libya’s beautiful coastal cities, famous for its turquoise sea and beautiful valley, Derna. In this city lives my girlfriend, Lulla, with her family. When Storm Daniel hit Derna, two major dams collapsed, which led to a horrific flood rushing through the valley toward the heart of the city. It was apocalyptic.
The death toll as of Sept. 14 has reached 11,300. The impact is huge for a city of just 100,000 people. Miraculously, Lulla and her family survived. However, they lost everything, their home, their family-owned business, and many relatives, close friends, and neighbors. A beloved teacher, Lulla has inspired many young men and women that she taught in high school. She doesn't even know how many of them are alive.
Right now, as you would expect, Lulla and her family are going through a lot. They need a lot of support, including financial support. Anything you can donate would be appreciated.
For the next 6 months, Lulla’s family (4 people) will need assistance with the following:
Clean drinking water
Hygiene and sanitation supplies
Basic household goods
We are grateful for your help. Every contribution helps.
Thanks for reading.