12:17pm

Tue November 12, 2013
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Mid-State Groups Collect Relief Aid for Syrian Refugees

DAMASCUS (AP/WMOT) — The ongoing civil war in Syria has been pushed off the front page by the tragedy in the Philippines, but some mid-state residents are still focused on the bloodshed there.

Mid-state resident Abdou Kattih has a sister and extended family still living in Syria. Kattih says his sister is safe for the moment, but decided he had to do something to help after seeing photos of Syrian refugees online.

Kattih and others arranged through a U.S. based charity to deliver a shipping container of relief supplies to Syrian refugees living in displacement camps in Turkey.

“We’ve been collecting clothing, medical supplies, first-aid items. We’re almost 80 percent done with this container and we’re still getting a lot of donations pouring in from every direction from across the state.”

Kattih says people have driven from as far away as Knoxville and Chattanooga to make donations. Response has been so good the group plans to send a second container of supplies.

The United Nations announced last week that the number of Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance has risen dramatically to 9.3 million people, up from 6.8 million in June.

To learn more about the project, look for the Syrian Relief Tennessee page at facebook.com/tnsyrianaid.