Albaba was sent with a fellow student, Bassant El-Shazly, to visit the small town of Waller, Texas, about 60 kilometers from downtown Houston. With the town having a population of just 2,400, the young women wondered what kind of reception they would get.

The residents “surprised us with their kindness, humility and love,” Albaba recalled. “We came across a lady whose home must have been damaged, and asked if she experienced any flooding. She replied, ‘Don’t you worry about me. My neighbor has got it a lot worse.’ We were blown away by her selflessness,” said Albaba, now 21, who will start medical school this fall at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

The volunteers worked with a partner organization — Islamic Relief USA, which coordinates with the American Red Cross — and assessed flood damage in each household they inspected, reporting their findings to the appropriate agencies.

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