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Talent show raises funds to support families in Aleppo

March 31, 2017

Photo courtesy of Angham Jaradat

Last Saturday students, who are natives of Syria, hosted a talent show that was created to aid civilians trapped within the crisis in Aleppo, Syria. Currently, a six-year civil war has been taking place in Syria and more specifically in the city of Aleppo. In 2011 mass protests began to form in the Syrian capital Damascus against President Bashar al-Assad and his government. Their goal was to enact political reform, improve civil rights, and to release political prisoners who were unjustly imprisoned. In 2012, Assad’s forces shot and bombed the demonstrators which then caused the Rebel groups to take Aleppo. Although the Rebel’s decision was not completely coordinated, they managed to take the east end of Aleppo while Assad and his government maintained control of the West. Civilians have been caught in the crossfire ever since the civil war began.

This is the first year the talent show was put on by Ghazal Shalabi, and several of her Syrian friends, who began planning and preparing for the talent show only two weeks before the event was held. Shalabi said that the faculty and staff were more than supportive with the students’ efforts. “President Wyatt supported our idea and encouraged us to do it.” Shalabi also mentioned that the Director of International Student Services, Erika Buckley helped them with whatever they needed.

The students started a Gofundme page which is where they received a substantial portion of their donations. They also set up a table right outside of the cafeteria in Stockdale where they also received a few donations, and could recruit performers as well. All the donations were sent to the Karam Foundation which is then sent to the people in Aleppo, Syria. In the end, the students managed to raise 2,000 dollars through their efforts. Shalabi says that, “$2,000 in Syria is a lot of money and can support a lot of families with their basic necessities.”

Among the students who helped coordinate the talent show, junior Iman AbdUlrazzak says that the students who performed reflected through song, poem, and rap what is going on in Syria and how everyone should all come together and help. “We became emotional when we heard the news about people being deported from their houses in Eastern Aleppo, and that is why we wanted to help.” AbdUlrazzak continued to say that the students who performed made him and his Syrian friends feel secure knowing that other people genuinely cared about the conflict occurring in Aleppo.

Riley Hess
News Editor

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