The Alalusi Foundation would like to thank all the attendees who braved the ongoing rains on Saturday, February 16th to spend the evening with us at the Help the Syrian Orphans & Widows program.
Dr.Mohamad Rajabelly was the Master of Ceremony for the evening, welcoming all to the grand ballroom at the Santa Clara Marriott before introducing Qari Shaykh Amar Bellaha to recite a passage from the Qur'an about the deep importance put on giving freely to those who are less fortunate than you are.
The first speaker of the evening was Zainab Hosseini, a Ph.D. candidate and Social Justice Director of the Stanford University Muslim Student Union, about her time with the widows and children at the Homs League Abroad (HLA) centers in Tripoli, Lebanon. One of the anecdotes relayed was about a two-year-old boy who, mistaking her for the caretaker, latched onto her in the middle of the night. This tale impressed upon the audience the greatest challenge the 700+ refugees served by HLA face, that of a sense of security in their uprooted existence.
Alalusi Foundation had the great honor of remarks by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Islamic scholar and co-founder of Zaytuna College in Oakland who commented on the great divisions in the world community and the communities within the Middle East. "I am sick of people asking for justice. We need rakhma." (compassion, mercy)
Jayne E. Fleming, Esq, human rights pro bono counsel to Reed Smith LLC gave a presentation on her work fighting for refugees entitled "The Refugee Plight" using twelve words that draw out the humanity of being a refugee.
Dr. Mazen Charbak, HLA general manager, gave a presentation about the five HLA centers in three countries, their history, need, structure, and outcomes.
After his emotional speech, Drs Mazen and Hesham paid tribute to the generosity of those who have given deeply before turning the microphone over to Dr. Rajabelly again who called for more pledges and donations.
Ending the evening, Shaykh Alaeddin Albakri spoke, further impressing upon the attendees to not forget the daily struggles of refugees and others who are struggling every day.