Mother's mercy mission to Iran

AN IPSWICH mother-of-two is due to arrive in the earthquake-stricken city of Bam today to offer emotional support to survivors amid the ruins.Iranian-born Henny Azmoodeh set out from her family's home, in Jewell View, Kesgrave, on January 1 as part of an international humanitarian group.

AN IPSWICH mother-of-two is due to arrive in the earthquake-stricken city of Bam today to offer emotional support to survivors amid the ruins.

Iranian-born Henny Azmoodeh set out from her family's home, in Jewell View, Kesgrave, on January 1 as part of an international humanitarian group.

Mrs Azmoodeh was today hoping to complete the final leg of her delayed journey, from Tehren to Bam, along with aid workers from Taiwan, Singapore, Austria and Germany, as part of a 16-strong group organised by the charity Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association.

Once there she will act as a translator as well as offering emotional support to the survivors of of the earthquake which destroyed or damaged 90 per cent of the buildings in the historic mud-brick Iranian city.

It is estimated that at least 30,000 people died in the earthquake, and some 100,000 Bam residents have been left homeless.

Before leaving she said: "The earthquake, while claiming thousands of lives, has left many others injured and homeless. The survivors need both material and emotional support, and our team hopes to be able to help relieve some of their suffering."

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Both Mrs Azmoodeh and her husband Manoochehr are members of the Iranian Cultural Society of East Anglia and Mr Azmoodeh has stayed in Suffolk to look after their two children, aged 14 and 11.

Mr Azmoodeh said: "I am proud of her. She doesn't think twice whenever help is needed.

"A lot of help has been given already to the people of Bam but there is still a lot to do.

"They want to give spiritual and emotional support when they get there. People wonder 'why did this happen?' and there is a lot of confusion. Some survivors have no will to live. So she will be talking to people to comfort them and help them see beyond the disaster."

Mr Azmoodeh works at for BTexact, in Martlesham, where his wife used to work, and he said he will continue to work and look after the children until she returns – although he doesn't know when that will be.

"The earliest she could return in January 16 but it could be later."

Iranian residents in Suffolk have launched an appeal to send aid to victims

of the earthquake in their homeland.

Members of the Iranian Cultural Society of East Anglia are appealing to people in the area to donate money to help people affected by the quake.

So far the appeal for help has been met with a generous response and donations have already passed the £1000 mark. It is hoped that any money raised through the society will go towards helping rebuild the town.

Dr Hossein Bagher Zadeh, spokesman for the Society, said: "The extent of suffering and pain felt by the survivors is unimaginable.

"We are trying to help relieve this pain as much as we can and hope that people will be generous in their help."

Cheques, made payable to "Iranian Cultural Society (E.A.)", can be sent to the society at 75 Carr Street Ipswich IP4 1HB, or paid directly into the following bank account: Barclays Bank, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich. Sort Code: 20-44-51. Account Name: Iranian Cultural Society (E.A.). Account No: 10831891                            

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