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Algerians Show Overwhelming Support for Moroccans After Earthquake

Algeria and Morocco Put Aside Differences to Aid Earthquake Recovery

In a remarkable display of solidarity, historical between Algeria and Morocco have been set aside as both governments and civil society join forces to offer support in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that struck Morocco late on Friday night. The two countries have long had political differences, particularly regarding the Western Sahara issue, where Algeria has supported an movement while Morocco has sought sovereignty over the region.

Despite these differences, the Algerian announced on Saturday that it was ready to help and opened its airspace to relief planes heading for Morocco. This came after two years of Algeria refusing passage for Moroccan flights. The Algerian also proposed an emergency aid plan the following day, which includes a team of 80 rescue workers and and relief supplies. However, the plan is still pending approval from Morocco.

of solidarity have flooded Algerian social media, especially from western cities where many people felt the earthquake themselves. Algerian artist and journalist Djamel Alilat created a doodle that circulated widely on social media, depicting the flags of Algeria and Morocco melting into each other, symbolizing and support. Many Algerians changed their profile pictures to this image as a show of solidarity.

While there were some disinformation and negative comments on social media, the prevailing sentiment has been one of solidarity and support for Morocco. Algerian civil society have initiated campaigns to collect aid and funds to send to Morocco. El Baraka, an independent humanitarian non-profit organization established in Algeria in 2015, has launched The Urgent Brotherhood Campaign, collecting food, medical supplies, and . Another organization, El Irshad Wa El Islah, has also started a similar effort.

However, with closed borders and no direct flights, it remains uncertain how this aid will be delivered to Morocco. President of El Baraka, Ahmed Ibrahimi, hopes that the Algerian government will assist in providing a plane or arranging a transfer through the border.

Moroccan authorities have accepted aid from Qatar, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom based on the needs on the ground, and they may accept more aid depending on the situation. There is a small chance that they will accept the Algerian aid proposition, which could potentially mark the beginning of a resolution to the contentious relations between the two countries. “This humanitarian diplomacy could be an opportunity to ease tensions and improve relations,” said Adel Ourabah, an Algerian independent political analyst.

Natural disasters have often served as icebreakers, providing an opportunity for countries in diplomatic conflicts to show goodwill and ease tensions. The same may be true for Algeria and Morocco, but only time will tell if this solidarity and support will lead to a positive shift in their relationship.

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