“As soon as we heard the news in Morocco, we started planning what we were going to do”, Manar Mechqouq, board member from the medical multicultural student association Avicenna, explains their joint campaign with the Islamic student association IQRA. Their plans were then solidified during the crisis meeting they held with university employees the Monday after the earthquake.

“I think the university has learnt a lot from last time, when it took almost a month before we could organise a bake sale for the earthquake in Turkey and Syria”, chair of IQRA Sami Ibourk El Idrissi, points out.


Manar Mechqouq from Avicenna (in the middle) is happy with the results of the fundraising so far. Image credit: Thanh Nguyen

The prompt response has led to a three-day bake sale at the Erasmus Sports Building this week until 21 September 16:00. “A bake sale is a nice way to introduce people to the Moroccan culture”, Manar Mechqouq, reflects. “It’s not only about raising money, but also about connecting with each other. This really should be a moment to come together”, Sami expands.

Bakeries all across the Netherlands have been eager to donate their sweets to the campaign. Even the parents of the board members of IQRA, Avicenna, and other student associations have joined in with their culinary talents and prepared dishes from their home countries.

Delicious donations

Second-year IBEB student Sara has particularly enjoyed the delicious donations. As she takes a spoonful of her couscous salad, she ponders on the packed queue at Spar she saw earlier before coming to the Sports building. “I saw people eating the usual stuff at Spar but instead you can come here. It’s a bit sad that not everyone knows about this, maybe they should put up some more flyers.”

Nevertheless, the campaign has exceeded the expectations of its organisers. Just on their first day, the bake sale was able to gather 1083,60 euros. “We were honestly shocked by how successful it was yesterday. We are really happy with this amount”, Manar celebrates.

Alhamdulillah”, Sami reacts. “It’s a preach of gratefulness. It reminds us how lucky we are to have what we have, and that there are people out there who are having it way worse than us. We shouldn’t be scared to look outside of our comfort zone and see how other people in the world are doing.”


From food to football

To wrap up the fundraiser, a football tournament will take place on Thursday at the Erasmus Sports Hall between 16:00 and 18:30. “I could say something cliché like ‘Morocco had a very good World Cup experience so we’re doing a football tournament’, but at the end of the day, football is also something that brings people together”, Sami concludes.

Tickets for the football tournament can be purchased on the IQRA website here.

ANP 477853263_Marokko aardbeving 8.3.2023_EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA

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