Audience members listen to the Emcee, Dr. Mohannad Hakeem.
About 500 people were present Sunday for a fundraiser for medical organizations doing vital life-saving work in Syria.
The event was held at the unusual but beautiful venue of the Pontiac Marriott.
The two main sponsors of the event were the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and SWASIA Charity Foundation.
Both organizations gave presentations through representatives who were present (respectively Dr. Opada Alzohili and Mr. Adib Chouiki). Also speaking were Dr. Mohannad Hakeem, who functioned as the Emcee of the event, Sheikh Kraiem Rajeh, and Shaykh Kifah Mustapha who did the fundraising for the evening.
Also speaking was an eyewitness to the devastation in Syria, a Mr. Abdulla Dahhan.
The evening began with recitation of Qur`an, then a thorough presentation about SWASIAâ€™s activities by Mr. Chouiki.
SWASIA is a 501(c)(3) founded in February of 2012. It started in New Jersey but has now expanded to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and it acts elsewhere as well, notably Syria, where it provides humanitarian help in Aleppo, Homs, and elsewhere. The principle programs Mr. Chouiki described, all of them successful and remarkable in their scope, were an udhiya program, clothing, orphan sponsorship, family sponsorship, and food distribution. SWASIA also provides shelter. The scale of each of these activities is substantial, for example SWASIA has provided 1,200 shelters to families, 482 udhiya animals were distributed, and 16 containers of clothes have been shipped from the US to Syrian people in need of relief.
Also, Dr. Alzohili described SAMSâ€™s incredible efforts in Syria, where they have provided several professionally equipped field hospitals, medicine, doctors–providing trauma care and care to people with chronic diseases in war-torn areas where routine medical care is only a distant memory.