Across The World, Citizens Empathize With Moore

May 24, 2013

Stella and Jack Howard (left and right) with their daughter, Dawnelaina (center), sit with the remains of their Moore home. The Howards built this house after their last one was destroyed by the May 3, 1999, twister.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

From Italy to Istanbul, the tragedy in Moore isn’t far from many people's minds or the front pages of international newspapers.

"We have received an amazing outpouring here from the mayor to regular citizens stopping by to see how they can help," says Rebecca Cruise, who's visiting the University of Oklahoma's center in Arezzo, Italy. "The emails from faculty with students abroad also show how much the world is paying attention to this story."

Firat Demir is an OU economist who's participating in the College of International Studies' Journey to Turkey program. He says it's not necessarily the event itself Turks identify with, but the victims.

"Especially in Turkey, which faced major earthquakes in the past, and people can connect with them," Demir says. "With the pictures of the elementary school and the kids dying, people do really connect with it."

Demir says when people put themselves in the victims' shoes, it's a sign that their views on politics, identities, and ideologies can be put aside for what it means to be human.