Syrian and Turkish families wait for news from earthquake zone and organize donations

At the Bazara family home in Marysville, no one is eating or sleeping much.

Syrian TV is on all the time with news of the earthquake.

“Our homes, buildings, it’s really hard that it got destroyed,” said Ahmad Bazara.

The family fled the Syrian war in 2017.

Their closest relatives survived the earthquake, but friends are missing and it’s hard to get updates.

“I have a lot of friends, trying to talk to them, call them, no one’s answering,” said Mohamed Bazara.

With people trapped beneath collapsed houses, he says lifting the wartime sanctions on Syria would help the response.

“A lot of people, they need help but they can’t because of the sanctions on Syria,” Bazara said.

Across the border in Turkey, the crisis is serious, too.

The Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington gathered four trucks worth of donations in two days.

“We had a flood of items that are donated flowing in,” said Tufan Erdinc, the leader of the association.

There were so many donations, it will take several days to send them all by plane, so organizers are now calling for people to give money instead.