FOLLOWING the terrible earthquake in the Sichuan province of China, members of the Chinese community in Qatar are attempting to drum up support and offer help to their compatriots suffering at home.
Gulf Times spoke to a number of Chinese people living in Doha, to ask them for their take on the current situation, and found out that in the aftermath of the quake, the general consensus is that the Chinese government has been extremely efficient and effective in offering a response.
Lucy, who works in a beauty centre in Doha, said she was “very sad to see so many Chinese people suffer,” and she has been keeping a keen eye on news coverage to see if things are improving for those enduring the consequences of the quake.
Jao, a member of staff at a Chinese company in Qatar, is equally concerned about the people who have been caught up in the disaster this past week. He said that he has friends who live in Qatar, but are originally from the Sichuan province, and they were particularly worried as the quake happened so close to home. “Many of my friends have gone back to China, and the others have been in touch with their families at home,” he said, adding “none of them have been hurt, and they all say the Chinese government has been doing a great job for those affected.”
Snow, who works for China State Construction, was similarly full of praise for the government, saying “from what I have been told, they have done a wonderful job, and are really helping the poor people stranded after losing their homes.”
He mentioned that water and electricity supplies have been badly hit, but explained he has heard that the government has provided temporary housing for the thousands of people who have lost their homes.
He explained that him and other members of staff at his company have been giving donations to help those suffering back home, and have set up a donation box in the public area of their office.
“If anyone wishes to donate, they can put money into the collection in the public office area,” said Snow, adding that “the money will then be transferred to an account in China to help the people in Sichuan.”
His colleague, Christina, works as a translator for the company, and is from the Sichuan province which was the worst-hit by the earthquake.
She said: “I was obviously very worried, because I have many family and friends who live in the province. However, my family live in a town which was not too close to the centre of the earthquake, and they have all emerged unharmed from the disaster.”
She said that she had spoken to her family recently, and they had told her that they had to spend the night following the earthquake outside their houses, as the authorities had said that it was not safe to remain indoors.
“My family had to go and sleep outside in the garden for the night, and they had no electricity or water supplies,” she said, adding “but the government were great in getting support to people, and have been providing food and water for days now.”
She said she was pleased to see the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, had flown to the province to oversee the rescue and rebuilding efforts, and she expressed a hope that the current chaos “will not last long, and everything will be better soon.”
She said that her friend’s father had been killed by the quake.
Despite the terrible pain and suffering the earthquake has caused the people in her province, Christina said that she is not scared to return, as “this was a natural problem,” and she added: “I believe in the Chinese government - I am sure they are doing their best to help everyone, and we are doing our bit here as well.”
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