Oregon Islamic Academy helps out in Japan

Muslim Education Trust Students help out in Japan

Basil Abu-Hamdeh, a junior at Oregon Islamic Academy, helps clean up debris from a house damaged by the March 11 tsunami in Japan

Seven students from the Oregon Islamic Academy in Tigard recently returned to Portland, Oregon, after a week touring Japan and helping in the tsunami recovery effort.

Flight of Friendship organized by Sho and Loen Dozono of Azumano Travel with the help of Mercy Corps and Peace Winds. The Dozonos helped pay the students’ expenses.

It was the first time a group of Oregon Islamic Academy students had traveled internationally for humanitarian service, said Rania Ayoub of the Muslim Educational Trust. They visited Sendai, a coastal city severely damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and Tokyo.

The students helped distribute relief items, prepare temporary shelters and clean up wreckage. They visited mosques and a Buddhist temple.

Amirah Fattom, 16, of Beaverton said seeing the damage firsthand was profound. She and her team helped furnish temporary shelters with necessities, including plates, futons and sheets.

“Through all the suffering people went through, when we talked to them they had smiles and a sense of hope that they could rebuild their lives from a base,” she said. “We helped give them that base.”

“In Islam, compassion is one of the main goals we strive for,” she added. “There is a saying that before you feed yourself, feed the people around you. … So many people want just a piece of bread.”

The other students making the trip were juniors Basil Abu-Hamdeh, Farhio Kheir, Mariam Said and Mohamed Tarhuni; and seniors Fatima Tarhuni and Nima Mohamed.

Source: Oregon Live