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Deadly tornados tore through several Oklahoma communities on May 19, 20 and 31, 2013. These are the stories of natural disaster and its aftermath, and of communities healing and recovering.

Across The World, Citizens Empathize With Moore

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.  

Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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