Local Community Supports Libya

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COLUMBIA - Local efforts to help people in war zones in Libya continued Thursday. Students and community members sought donations to purchase food and medical supplies.

MU's Muslim Student Organization wrapped up a three day bake sale to raise money for humanitarian relief. The students raised about $200. The group plans to donate the money to Islamic Relief, a national organization.

Group member Camila Gumati said the group was concerned with finding an reputable organization. They want to be sure the money reaches Libyans.

Local business owners have been active seeking donations for Hope International. The organization was founded in Columbia. Now, it's headquartered in Ohio. Hope International sends money to countries all around the world, but it's currently focusing its efforts on Libya.

"A lot of money comes from the Libya familes in America," said Rashid Kikhia.

He said most of the money funds medical needs, because many other countries provide aid for food and shelter.

Ahmed El-Tayash, co-owner of Campus Eastern Foods, was part of a group that designed T-shirts  to reel in extra donations.

He hopes to take it a step further.

"All I have left to do now is to go help hands on somehow. If it's taking medical supplies, whatever it is, cleaning the streets, whatever I could do I would love to do it," said El Tayesh.

Columbia's Libyan community took to the streets in February to call for U.S. intervention and a no fly zone. But some have traveled to other cities to participate in on going protests.

"For me I thought if I'm going to make an impact, Kansas City is the way to go. There's a lot of influence and events going on. We don't have anything organized here," said Gumati.

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