Article Op-Ed

Hurricane Matthew and the Irish Famine

Hurricane Matthew and the Irish Famine

Author Yousif Sabbah by

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During the 1840s-1850s, the Irish had a very unfortunate large scale famine caused by the colonial policy of Great Britain. The famine resulted in over a million deaths. The Queen Victoria and the Ottoman Sultan Khaleefah Abdul-Majid had planned on sending 1,000 sterling each, but the Sultan wanted to send 10,000 sterling in order to have a larger impact. The Queen requested that the Sultan only send 1,000 sterling as she was only sending 2,000 sterling; as a result, the Sultan sent 1,000 and also secretly sent 5 ships full of food. The ships of food arrived in Drogheda; as a result, the Irish have remained grateful till this day.

Islam is also Ireland’s fastest growing religion. There are many buildings along Ireland that contain an Islamic Crescent. For example, there is a decorative metal grid in a Drogheda Steam-Packet. Another example is on the port of Drogheda there is a Crescent with a star embezzled onto a piece of stone. Along with all of these add-ons Muslims are greatly respected in Ireland.

What brought me to write this article about the Irish famine is what recently happened in the southeast for the past month. Hurricane Matthew has been destroying homes and causing many families to flee up north. There were many people that were in need of shelters and protection, and to my knowledge, the Muslims in the Georgia community have not been of aid to many of the people fleeing from the hurricane. This is very unpleasing to hear when compared to what the Muslims of Turkey had done in the 19th century.

As the Muslims of Turkey had no problem traveling a great distance in order to help the Irish, the Muslims in Georgia failed to aid those coming to them in need of help. As a fifteen year old, with limited knowledge of the Muslim community of Georgia, I believe us as Muslims missed a great opportunity to change the narrative and how people perceive us.

Yousif Sabbah ’15 comes from Roswell, Georgia and is currently a sophomore at Centennial High School. He is a Boy Scout currently on the path of becoming an Eagle Scout. Along with his dad, he launched “Saving a Generation” which is a campaign to empower Syrian children through education. He has been honored at Atlanta Mentorship, U-Beyond, and by SAMS (Syrian American Medical Society). His goal is to become a veterinarian.

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