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Harvard Law School’s Turkey-Syria Earthquake Relief Efforts

February 17, 2023

Message from the Harvard Law School concerning the recent earthquakes that have hit Turkey and Syria, with links to donation efforts:

We are reaching out about the devastating earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey earlier this month, wreaking immeasurable devastation and loss of life. This unspeakable calamity, which ranks among the worst natural disasters in recent history, has killed more than 40,000 people, destroyed millions of homes, and shattered countless communities and families across the region and the globe. We write to express our heartfelt concern and support for all who have been affected, including the students, faculty, and staff across Harvard Law School and Harvard University with ties to the region who are grieving for family and friends. We also want to share information about upcoming events that will give members of our community an opportunity to come together, to relay information for those who wish to contribute to relief efforts, and to highlight resources for those who need support in this terrible time.

We have been in direct contact with our students from the region, and in recent days we have also received many expressions of solidarity and requests for information from others about how to help. Some of your fellow students have organized a fundraising drive, which you can access here and will be hosting a fundraising lunch on Thursday, February 16, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Pound Hall 102. In addition, several media outlets have published extensive guides for those seeking to contribute, including pieces in The New York Times and Time. This recent story in the Harvard Gazette also details additional efforts taking place across the university.

For those seeking to gather to reflect and remember, the Office of the Muslim Chaplain and Memorial Church will host a vigil tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. on the Memorial Church steps in Harvard Yard. In addition, the Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, the International Human Rights Clinic, the Middle Eastern & North African Law Students Association, and the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World will jointly host an event on February 28 at 12:15 p.m. in WCC B015, titled “Syrian Voices from the 2023 Earthquake: Emergency Responses and Long-Term Impact.”

In this time of great sadness, we urge anyone who would like to speak with someone to access the many resources available across the Harvard University campus. These include counseling and mental health services offered by Harvard University Health Services (including the CAMHS Cares line at 617-495-2042) as well as TimelyCare, a free virtual health and wellbeing platform.

In addition, Harvard Chaplains representing many of the world’s religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions, are available to provide pastoral support and guidance. At HLS, you can always call, email, or visit the teams at the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Community Engagement, Equity, and Belonging, and the Graduate Program, or reach out to the Board of Student Advisers or LL.M. Advisors. And HLS Housing residents can also contact their Resident Advisor, who is trained to help connect them with available resources.


February 17, 2023
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