2020 saw a rising financial crisis, pandemic, political instability, andtragic explosion hit Lebanon, but also the creation of Marshall’s Peace in the Middle East club.
On May 14, the new club organized a fundraiser at local chain Burger 7 to raise money for Lebanon.
“The money we donated is used to help children in Lebanon grow up healthy, educated and safe,” PITME President Maya Kanaan said. “We made sure the fundraiser was going to a trustworthy and reliable organization.”
The money raised by Peace in the Middle East is going towards the aid organization Save the Children, which helps crisis-torn countries like Lebanon.
“For our first fundraiser, we raised just under $500, so it went pretty well,” club Vice President Dania Albarghouthi said. “After being repeatedly turned down by restaurants, we honestly didn’t know what to do, but thankfully B7 helped us out and overall [the fundraiser] turned out great.
In their meetings, Peace in the Middle East educates members on issues within a given country, and wraps up by suggesting ways to help tackle the issues.
“Every month we plan a new topic to focus on,” Kanaan said. “We planned this fundraiser while our club was focusing on learning [about] and spreading awareness for Lebanon.”
According to Albarghouthi, the main goal of the club is to educate members on subjects in the Middle East which receive little coverage in the Western world.
“My friend Lillie once texted me asking what she could do for Palestine, another country we cover,” Albarghouthi said. “That was when I’d realized that our meetings were bringing awareness and aiding people to acknowledge the problems going on in the world. Not only are [club members] becoming more educated, because of course just being educated on an issue can do so much, but people are seeking ways to help [solve] these problems. I’d like to say that this was influenced through our club since some of our peers wouldn’t understand the issues as much without being taught about it.”
Despite the heartfelt actions of the club, Lebanon’s situation remains bleak for the near future.
“There’s not that much we can do in a complex situation such as Lebanon’s [other than] spreading awareness and going small actions, so we decided to provide relief for the people in need,” Kanaan said.