These Young Muslim Men Rescued Over A Dozen People From The Houston Flood

"This is an opportunity for us to give back to our city."

As the dust settles in Houston after the catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) has sprung into action.

Made up of young Ahmadi Muslim men, AMYA has been working side-by-side with the Humanity First disaster relief outfit to supply food and perform rescues of people who have been hurt by the flooding. As the flood waters recede, they've continued to support the city by going door-to-door and helping people move heavy furniture out of their homes and away from the floodwater.



"Houston has been a home for us, for a lot of us the only home we've ever known," Rahman Nasir, a 23-year-old spokesperson for the group, told A Plus. "This is an opportunity for us to give back to our city. Islam instills these values in us, AMYA really helped us realize that and gives us a forum to go out and help."

Members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association move a couch out of someone's flooded home. 
Members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association move a couch out of someone's flooded home.  Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association

Immediately following the flooding, members of AMYA went out in boats with Humanity First and began scouring neighborhoods for those who needed rescue. Yesterday, Nasir said, they rescued 14 people. On Thursday alone they found another five or six who needed help and quickly got them to safety. 

During a period where the rains stopped, Nasir and other members of the group went out to distribute water and bananas. Then they prepared fresh food from scratch, found shelters in the area, and served the food to people who had been evacuated from their homes. Now, Nasir says, the shelters are turning away volunteers because turnout has been so strong.

A member of AMYA serving up some food at a shelter.
A member of AMYA serving up some food at a shelter. Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association

It's not the first time AMYA has gone out of their way to help, either. During recent floods in Louisiana, tornados in Oklahoma, and Hurricane Katrina, they had volunteers on the ground giving a hand. In fact, founded in 1933, AMYA is oldest and largest Muslim youth organization in the country. When its members aren't on the scene of a disaster, they're volunteering at food kitchens, getting involved in blood drives, adopting a highway or mentoring Muslim youth.

Over the next few days, Nasir says they'll continue to take orders from the Humanity First organization on what they need. Big corporations and disaster relief programs have taken the lead on shelters and supplying the basics for families, so AMYA is going door-to-door to help families get what's left in their homes to a safe place away from flood waters. He says it feels like the city is bouncing back quick.

"It seems like all these other things, political alliances, what race you are, what religion you are, all that has been thrown out the window," Nasir said. "The only thing matters is that we're family. We share the same home. Let's unite and help each other out." 

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