Iskenderun, a picturesque coastal city in Turkey, has long been known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture. However, on February 6th 2023, the city, my hometown, faced a devastating earthquake that shook the very foundations of its communities.
As I reflect on my recent trip to Iskenderun, I was profoundly moved by the resilience of the people and how they've adapted to life in the aftermath of the earthquake. Their remarkable ability to persevere through adversity is a testament to the human spirit.
Trauma has a way of reshaping lives, unique to each person even in the face of natural disasters: each person's trauma recovery will be different. The emotional toll was immense, and the scars of that fateful day are not just physical but emotional as well; I saw the pain, the grief in the eyes of everyone I met. In my conversations with friends and loved ones as well as the locals, I witnessed how trauma had changed them.
One of the most striking aspects of Iskenderun's recovery is the way its people have learned to live in the present moment. I often heard the statement "your life can change in literal minutes". They've come to understand that life is fragile, and they've embraced a newfound appreciation for what truly matters. Whether it's enjoying a simple meal with loved ones or taking a leisurely stroll along the beautiful coastline, the people of Iskenderun have found solace in the little things.
The resilience of the Iskenderun community has been nothing short of inspiring. In the face of immense adversity, they have come together, rebuilding not only their city but also their spirits. The support and unity among the people have been a driving force behind the city's recovery.
Iskenderun's story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of community, reminding us all that, even in the face of adversity, we can rebuild, recover, and emerge stronger than before.