August 19th World Humanitarian Day

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The Day of People Who Live More Than One Life

When the dates show August 19th World Humanitarian Day, one stops for a minute and think: how many lives one can touch, and how many lives can one single person live? Humans, who come together in the face of dangers and got strong all along with human history, catch the immortality when they touch other people’s lives. One can be born as a human of course, but the real accomplishment is perhaps being able to stay as a human. On this 19th of August, we are looking at people who accomplished exactly that. To those who can stay humane and real-life heroes who teach us this.

One August Afternoon and The Bomb Explosion On Hotel Canal

It was noon hours on August 19 2003. Humanity was shaken with the sound of a bomb in the Hotel Canal. The targets were the centre of UN in the city of Baghdad in Iraq and the humanitarian personnel inside.

As a result of the explosion, 22 people passed away. More than 100 people were injured. UN General Assembly determined August 19th as Humanitarian Day to commemorate helpful people and their efforts and to pay respects to their memories. Thus the people who helped to heal other people’s lives by putting theirs in danger will not be forgotten and their efforts will be forever remembered.

Those Who Teach the Real Meaning of Humanity

At our darkest hours, the light in the world decreases, the pain is exaggerated. Most of the time, our fears cast a cloud on our actual power and we stay empty-handedly. Humanitarian personnel are the people who in this exact moment reach out to these hands and hold them tightly. They show how life can change if we come together. “Don’t be afraid, I am here, with you. I came for you!”

Some people leave their families, friends, countries behind and go to a country they never set foot in before, whose language they don’t know. To humanitarian personnel, the language, religion, skin color and appearance of these people don’t matter at all. The only thing that matters is to deliver the things they need to them.

Hand to Hand, Shoulder to Shoulder, People are Stronger Together

In Turkish, one of the best sayings that tell about unity and solidarity is “Bir elin nesi var, iki elin sesi var.”* This is a proverb that stresses the importance of solidarity and unity. We can’t clap with one hand but we can do it with both our hands. Just like that, the things we see hard sometimes impossible when we are alone, we can accomplish with people we trust and love. These people light up our night, like little shining stars in our darkest times. This way, we can wait for the sunrise that will warm us feeling a little better and safer. We become more hopeful when we hear the word “humanity”, and when someone else is in need, this time we would be the ones to help.

August 19th World Humanitarian Day is a day dedicated to people each shining relentlessly like stars. If we look into our lives, we can see them.  We can be one of them too. This way, life and the hardships it brings wouldn’t be that scary, they turn into passable hills. After all, we are stronger together, don’t you think?

Turkish4 wishes a happy August 19th World Humanitarian Day to all the caring people in the world, we remember those who lost their lives on this path with respect.  May your light continue to shine on those who need it!



*Bir elin nesi var, iki elin sesi var :What does one hand have, two hands have sound.

Two heads are better than one

For Turkish Text click here

Translated by: Esra  Nur Elmas