The deadly earthquake in Morocco, the deadly floods in Libya, 30 years since the Oslo Accords – this is the Middle East this week.
Deadliest earthquake since 1960 in Morocco | The biggest environmental disaster in modern history in Libya | Three decades since the Oslo Accords. Here is the Middle East this week:
“Life is over” in Morocco hit by the earthquake
In the ruins of the Moroccan town of Tnirte, a Spanish rescue team sends its sniffer dogs home. Dogs, explains a member of the team, can only smell life.
North Africa is reeling from environmental disasters, the first being a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated the Atlas Mountains region around Marrakech, Morocco.
Entire families were lost to the earthquake, especially in rural areas. Ahcan Ait Majid, a 70-year-old shepherd, lost his wife of 50 years and his two sons to the tremors.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” he told Al Jazeera. “I don’t know what I’m going to do now.”
Morocco has been criticized for accepting only a few offers of aid, despite numerous offers from the international community. An offer of aid was made by Algeria, whose people showed an outpouring of support despite diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
Aside from the lives lost, there is also concern about the damage to Marrakech’s beloved ancient structures, a concern for Moroccan intellectual Hassan Aourid.
Storm Daniel devastates eastern Libya
In Libya, countless bodies were washed out to sea around the eastern port city of Derna, an area hit by Storm Daniel, causing two dams to collapse.
The figures are staggering: more than 6,000 dead, 10,000 missing, 30,000 displaced, while people rush to bury hundreds of people in mass graves.
Satellite images show the scale of the disaster, which in Derna was exacerbated by poor maintenance and infrastructure, said deputy mayor Ahmed Madroud.
Oslo Accords, 30 years later
Thirty years ago, Israeli and Palestinian leaders met on the White House lawn in Washington to sign an agreement that many considered a precursor to peace in the region.
But the Oslo Accords – which earned their architects the Nobel Peace Prize – accomplished nothing of the sort.
Critics say it was “inherently designed” to serve Israel’s economic and security dominance over the Palestinians. Yara Hawari further asserts that Palestinian authoritarianism has its roots in the accords.
And now something different
When villagers in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains were hit by the powerful earthquake, they found a foolproof method of getting around and moving their materials: their donkeys.
These agile-footed animals were able to make their way along barely visible tracks, loaded with bulging saddlebags and sometimes pulling a person on their back to boot.
Quote of the week
“A man was pointing at his house. There was a white door that remained standing, and he told us that it was the door to his house (…) He lost his sons and his wife. He was screaming because he saw his wife’s abaya under the rubble. | Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting on the Moroccan earthquake from the village of Imi N’Tala.