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'We need prayers from everyone': Louisville's Syrian community searches for loved ones after deadly earthquake

Immigrants who call Louisville home are praying their loved ones survived. Fatima Zuhayli is searching to connect families.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As rescue efforts continue in Syria and Türkiye, the Syrian community in Louisville are waiting to hear from their loved ones.

"We need prayers from everyone -- young or old," Syria native, Fatima Zuhayli said.

Zuhayli has been overwhelmed with pain since a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck northern Syria on Monday.

"It came to the area that's already suffering a lot. So, another hit like this takes it deeper and deeper," she said. "I can't sleep at night, but at least we're in our home. We're blessed here, so blessed here. We just feel guilty like how can we help? What can we do there?"

Zuhayli says she spent entire day making calls to loved one's on behalf of the people in her community.

She also searched for her brother – a surgeon who flew to Türkiye to help Syrian refugees.

"He's good, but again, it's not just my brother. It's about all the families there," she said.

She added that many of them are without phones, or a place go since fleeing from Syria's civil war.

"So that's why for us it hurts more because most of the people there are people that are misplaced. So already they don't have houses. And if they're now in houses, it means they gained it after a while," Zuhayli said." So now for them to be in the street just running out of fear, our hearts go to them. We don't know what to do more. We're trying to help around here."

Zuhayli is working with Muslim Community Center to create a fundraiser for victims. In meantime she says she'll continue to make calls in hopes that someone answers.

If you would like to help with disaster relief, Zuhayli  encourages you contact the Muslim Community Center or the Syrian American Medical Society.

► Contact reporter Alexis Jones at AJones@whas11.com; on Facebook or Twitter  

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