MARRAKECH – The warm September sun is about to set from a side plaza near a small town on the road to Amizmiz, as 63-year-old Hocine Tanan tries to do his job after about 10 hours spent in a workshop to weld several iron bars.
Hussein wears goggles that protect against the sparks emitted by the welding machine, and as soon as he removes them, he shows some fatigue on his face, which he describes as "delicious", and a "smile of satisfaction" does not leave his face.
Hussein – a retired welder coming from the city of Casablanca – says to Al Jazeera Net "I hurried to respond to the call launched by a young volunteer on social networks, I came here with all the requirements of work, and I will spare my effort and experience for the success of this solidarity initiative, which expresses the "Tamgrabit" real (a phrase to express the values of moral authentic Moroccan).
Tents produced by volunteer efforts were used as a primary means of assistance due to the lack of prefabricated tents (Al Jazeera)
Civil activists in Marrakech are leading an initiative to make tents, in a workshop that included a number of craftsmen to make new tents, in an attempt to cover some of the shortages in some of the affected areas.
Ismail Taher, a volunteer at the Aftas Association for Development and Solidarity, which is sponsoring the initiative, said, "After the earthquake, we took initiatives to distribute food supplies, mattresses and blankets, and it seems that there is self-sufficiency among the population, so we have settled now in a voluntary initiative related to tents."
He adds in an interview with Al Jazeera Net, "We were surprised by the great response from citizens after the launch of an appeal through social networking sites, but the idea matured until it reached the manufacture of those tents by craftsmen and volunteer professionals, after providing dresses, iron and wooden cushions for mattresses by financiers, in addition to welding and sewing machines."
Some volunteers contributed blacksmithing and sewing equipment to support the tent industry efforts (Al Jazeera)
A number of affected villages suffer from a visible shortage of tents, while those affected live in unfit tents, which is confirmed by supervisors of coordination initiatives to help those affected, despite the efforts of some distinctive and continuous voluntary initiatives undertaken by civil associations.
The local authority, the Moroccan Red Crescent and the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity have distributed tents that have reached the high mountain areas, while the Auxiliary Forces have set up integrated camps in Izmiz numbering about 250 tents, each housing 12 people, in addition to similar camps set up in Asni, Ouargane and Talat Niacoub (affected mountainous areas on the outskirts of Marrakech).
Aid continues to provide support materials for tents, such as timber and fabrics (Al Jazeera)
Answering the call
It was not only Hussein who answered the call, but also a number of craftsmen who came from different cities to help, in a workshop that became like a "beehive" that never stops.
Says the young Adel Zaari for Al Jazeera Net, a volunteer dyer coming from the city of Kenitra, he came to the red city (Marrakech), answering the call to provide the needs of those affected, and left behind his wife and children, he considers that his work is an effort in the arena "jihad against deprivation", and consolation for those who lost their families and homes in the devastating earthquake.
Abdelsamad from Marrakech, a tailor who has just started an industrial project, said he had put two sewing machines at the disposal of volunteers, which he himself sometimes used for his work.
He added that after including his phone number in the distress calls, a number of citizens contacted him, expressing their solidarity and readiness to help, and that he was surprised by the momentum created by the initiative, as he put it.
Volunteers put their efforts, expertise and mechanisms on compensating those affected by the earthquake (Al Jazeera)
Ismail Oakhira tells how he has become attached to this work and spends most of his day in the workshop, helping and directing the initiative.
Finally, a young contractor in the city of Dakhla, adds that the earthquake happened to him while he was in the Red City, but he was unable to leave it and return to work, after he was destined to participate in multiple initiatives and volunteer assistance, until he participated in this initiative, which he adhered to and gives it all his effort and time.
Arrive truck loaded with dresses coming from the city of Laayoune southern Morocco, put its cargo very quickly with the help of volunteers, tried Al Jazeera Net to take a permit from the owner of the truck, but he preferred not to make any statement, saying that he wants "hidden charity" finds its reward with God, like the case of a number of craftsmen volunteers in the workshop.
Civil activist Ismail Taher continues his speech to Al Jazeera Net, saying that there are other trucks coming, and that the challenge of the initiative was to make 500 tents at first, but with the successive arrival of aid and volunteers, they were able to make about 1500,<> tents, according to the needs of those affected in housing, and allocated some of them as mosques, schools and toilets, and distributed free of charge according to priorities, especially remote and remote places.