As the death toll of the powerful earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on February 6 continues to rise, people are taking comfort in positive stories that are coming from the region. One such story includes the tale of two young siblings trapped under rubble for 36 hours before they were rescued.
Seven-year-old Mariam and her younger brother Ilaaf were sleeping peacefully in their home near Haram, Syria, when disaster struck. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake trapped the siblings under rubble, and it was only after a day and a half that rescuers finally reached them. In the video of the rescue, Mariam can be seen placing her hand gently over her brother's head to shield him from the debris. Lovingly, she strokes his hair to keep him calm while speaking with the rescue workers.
She tells them, “Get me out of here, I’ll do anything for you, I'll be your servant.” As the worker assures her that won't be necessary, the responders work to free them. Later, images were published of the pair being pulled from the destruction and relaxing on a bed after being assessed medically. Now, they'll begin the long journey of healing as the entire family processes what happened.
Their father Mustafa Zuhir Al-Sayed told media that he, his wife, and three children were all sleeping when the earthquake occurred.
“We felt the ground shaking…and rubble began falling over our head, and we stayed two days under the rubble,” he said. “We went through, a feeling, a feeling I hope no one has to feel.”
The family began to recite prayers as they awaited their fate. Others heard them and stepped in to rescue the entire family.
In the days since the deadly earthquake, first responders have been working around the clock to rescue those trapped under the rubble. As the total number of deaths swells to over 19,000, every living person and animal pulled from the rubble is being celebrated as a victory.
But those survivors are still in dire need of help. Even before the natural disaster, the United Nations stated that 70% of Syrians needed humanitarian assistance. In light of that tragedy, that number is expected to rise even higher. If you would like to help, Global Giving has started a Turkey and Syria earthquake relief fund.
This little girl comforted her little brother for over 36 hours, until they were rescued from under the rubble of the Turkey and Syria earthquake.
I don't think I've ever cried in all my life the way I have watching this.
— Abier (@abierkhatib) February 7, 2023
The kids are now resting comfortably and have been reunited with their entire family, who was sleeping when the natural disaster hit.
— Sarah Ilyas (@_SarahIlyas) February 7, 2023
The rescue is a bright spot in this tragedy, which has taken over 19,000 lives. The death toll is expected to swell in the coming days as rescue operations continue.
— Rising Kashmir (@RisingKashmir) February 9, 2023