AAI Hosts Annual Iftar
Posted by Guest on July 03, 2019 in Blog
To celebrate the last week of Ramadan, on June 30th, 2019, AAI hosted its annual Generations Iftar. A packed room of community members gathered together to break their fast and connect to one another in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The iftar was filled with an amalgamation of people from different backgrounds, exchanging laughter, sharing meals, and merging cultures.
This year, the event was held to raise money for an organization based in Lebanon called Basmeh & Zeitoonah. Basmeh & Zeitooneh was created by a group of volunteers who started working in the Shatila refugee camp in 2012 with the goal of empowering Palestinian and Syrian refugees by filling gaps in development assistance. The organization takes on a “community center approach” which serves to provide families and individuals in the refugee community with relief, support, and opportunity. With the mission of advancing the development of these vulnerable groups, Basmeh & Zeitoonah have created several safe spaces and programs, such as an arts and cultural center, a research center, vocational training programs, and a peace education program.
The organization has served over 25,000 refugees, and currently has six community centers established across Lebanon, accomplishments attendees learned about in a short video from their “Remember Ramadan” campaign.
Attendees also heard from AAI National Field Coordinator Heba Mohammad about AAI’s current policy priorities and ongoing campaigns.
The annual iftar served as the perfect celebration to end the month as Arab Americans across generations came together and dedicated space and time to support marginalized groups. It’s clear that even after Ramadan ends, members of the community will continue to provide support and service for one another on a local and broader context.
This post was guest-authored by Sibel Al-Barzinji, a Summer 2019 communications intern.