- A Charles Sturt University academic has received a NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communication Award in the category ‘Best Text Report’
- His article reflects on the tragedy of the severe earthquake in Tϋrkiye and Syria in February 2023 which killed 25 members of his family, and how he coped with the grief
- He reflected on how he kept himself busy with good deeds and allocated his emotions in a positive way, which he found ‘increases human compassion’
A Charles Sturt University academic has been awarded for his published article about the impact of an earthquake this year on his life and the comfort and strength he found in his faith.
Lecturer in Islamic Studies Associate Professor Salih Yucel (pictured) in the Charles Sturt Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation received the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communication Award in the category ‘Best Text Report’.
Professor Yucel wrote a compelling account of the impact the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Tϋrkiye and Syria on 6 February 2023 had on him, which killed more than 59,000 people, including members of his family. Millions were affected.
Professor Yucel’s story, ‘How my faith helped me after the loss of loved ones in the earthquake’, was published in the Australasian Muslim Times (AMUST) (17 February 2023).
“I lost six close relatives, including my sister Remziye, and 19 distant kin in the earthquake,” Professor Yucel said.
“This award has accelerated my grief process. I cannot thank the NSW Premier’s Office enough for this timely award.”
In his article Professor Yucel said he made two decisions to help manage his grief and that of others.
‘The first was a decision I made a long time ago: to take the Prophet, his companions and great scholars as my role models,’ he wrote.
‘The second was a choice I made to keep myself busy with good deeds … .’
He also wrote that he ‘ … allocated my emotions in a positive way, which supported me in my grief. I continued to teach and tried to provide emotional and spiritual support to relatives in Tϋrkiye via phone.
‘I discovered that doing these good deeds really helped in difficult times. I could not express such a spiritually comforting experience in words.’
He reflected that ‘ … allocating emotions in a positive way during difficult times increases human compassion’.
Professor Yucel acknowledged the great support of his family, students, the Muslim community and non-Muslim friends during this difficult time.