Washington Square News

Tackling the Syrian Refugee Crisis

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Syrian Refugee Awareness Week provides the opportunity for students to raise awareness of refugee crises in Syria.

Syrian Refugee Awareness Week provides the opportunity for students to raise awareness of refugee crises in Syria.

via facebook.com

via facebook.com

Syrian Refugee Awareness Week provides the opportunity for students to raise awareness of refugee crises in Syria.

By Olivia Roos, Contributing Writer

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The coming week marks the second Syrian Refugee Awareness Week at NYU, a cross-school student initiative to raise money to support the international rescue committee, show people how to become more involved and show refugees that they are welcome in America.

Gallatin senior Madeline Doblin helped organize the week’s events and said the organizers were all frustrated by the media’s portrayal of the crisis and arguments over what to do with refugees.

“We were looking for ways to try to understand the crisis and engage in ways to help the refugees,” Doblin said.

Last semester, students and staff came together after hearing Syrian-American community member Sarab Al-Jikali speak, working to provide humanitarian aid for the refugees.

GSAS student and one of the week’s organizers Madison McCormick said this semester, the focus will be on educating people about the crisis and working to promote engagement and advocacy for the refugees.

“We had such a great response and students were often wanting more, so this week will include every thing of last semester’s awareness week with additional events each day,” McCormick said.

There will be tabling on Monday at the Grand Staircase in the Kimmel Center for University Life from 5-8 p.m. and Wednesday at the Lobby Kiosk from 2-8 p.m. They will be handing out bracelets and stickers, explaining more about the crisis, offering volunteer opportunities, writing welcome letters to refugees and collecting funds. Donations will be sent to the International Rescue Committee.

On Tuesday, the Founding National President of the Network of Arab American Professionals as well as Syrian-American community organizer, Sarab Al-Jijakli, will be discussing and answering questions on the crisis’ background, what is going on now and how students can help.

Then Thursday there will be a panel of students, artists and activists to discuss the crisis. On Friday, supporters are invited to come together in Washington Square Park to draw and write messages that promote peace and unite in solidarity with the refugees.

CAS sophomore Amy Pelch said she looks forward to attending the discussion organized for Tuesday.

“I want to find out what I can do, as a student, to help combat this crisis,” Pelch said.

A version of this article appeared in the April 11 print edition. Email Olivia Roos at [email protected]

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