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VOA常速英语:休斯敦清真寺向洪水灾民敞开大门

Source: 恒星英语学习网    2017-09-04   English BBS   Favorite  

Passing the time in shelters hasn’t been easy for flood victims who don’t know when they can go home.

19-year-old Sara Al Azaat from Saudi Arabia has only been in Houston for four months.

“We’ve never had any experience before like that... with any kind of storm from where I came from.We didn’t take it that seriously.”

“And when the flood happened, it was ‘a life-changing experience’. ”

Al Azaat, whose mother is an Indonesian and whose father is a Syrian, is here with her family and her cousins.As the children play, all the adults are anxious to get home and don’t know when the mandatory evacuation will be lifted.

But here, they are safe and surrounded by kindness.

“We were really amazed.A lot of people who came here to get the temporary shelter in fact people came and took them to their homes.So we were really touched by that.”

People from the community on the west side of town who did not receive any flood damage have been coming to this shelter to donate items, such as sheets and blankets, and even toys.And for some of them, it’s the first time inside a mosque.

“I have never been inside a mosque. I was a bit apprehensive about which door to go into.And a young lady met me in the parking lot and led me.”

“People of all faiths, they have come together, they’re working just purely on the basis of humanity, nothing else.Just human beings helping each other, and then we learn from different people because everyone has different backgrounds,different thought processes and we’ve learned a lot through this.”

Coming here dispelled certain assumptions for Mandell.

“They’re a lot more warmer than I expected on the males.The females I’ve always expected kindness and warmness, but sometimes I, you know, tend to shy away from Muslim men because I don’t know the traditions and what I should do correctly.”

It was also a learning experience for Choudry.

“They are human, you know, they’re our friends and they want to help the humanity without any discrimination without any fear,nothing, they just want to help people.”

Al Azaat says her experience at this shelter is nothing like the anti-Muslim rhetoric she sees on the news.

“People from not the Islamic faith coming and donating, it was… it made me have a different perspective about the U.S..”

“That’s like, really really really nice of you, like, you know, as the non-Muslims who come here and donate for us.”

The volunteers say breaking down barriers and working together will make the community stronger as they rebuild the city after the flood.

Elizabeth Lee, VOA news, Houston.


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