By: Richard L. Smith
Mayor Michael Ghassali of the Borough of Montvale and Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah of the Borough of Prospect Park, who were both born in Aleppo, Syria, as well as Mayor Andre Sayegh of the City of Paterson whose mother is a Syrian immigrant from Aleppo, issued the following statement regarding the recent catastrophic earthquakes in Southern Turkey and Northern Syria, requesting the federal government and the international community to make the following two items a priority:
1. Requesting that the White House and the International Community send equipment to extract those who are trapped before it is too late for any possible survivors.
2. Requesting that the federal government identifies organizations that the American public can donate to without being flagged, due to current sanctions against the Syrian government, that can provide aid directly and quickly to those affected.
The three mayors released the following statements:
“With over 5,000 people killed due to the collapsing infrastructure, right now, we are in a race against time to save hundreds, if not thousands, of people that are trapped and still may be alive,” Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah expressed.
“It is imperative that we work with our partners at the federal level and abroad to fight to ensure no stone is left unturned to find every remaining survivor,” Mayor Khairullah stated.
“With death toll rising and thousands without shelter or food, this is becoming a humanitarian disaster by the minute,” Mayor Michael Ghassali stated.
“We need to lift the sanctions temporarily and allow help and resources to reach the needy directly on the ground in Syria,” Mayor Ghassali added.
“We are joining forces to save lives in Syria and Turkey,” Mayor Andre Sayegh stated. “This is a humanitarian effort that requires complete cooperation and seamless coordination. I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow Americans in this endeavor,” Mayor Sayegh said.
Working together, these three Syrian-American Mayors from New Jersey will utilize every resource available to continue to provide relief to the region and encourage all residents around the State, Country, and Globe to join their efforts to bring humanitarian aid to those affected by this devastating tragedy.