Relief effort gathers funds, supplies

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By Emmy Yacoub

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – American University of Sharjah’s Palestinian Cultural Club has raised more than 200,000 AED and around 700 boxes of humanitarian aid during its ongoing Gaza Relief campaign, said its President Abdallah Darwish in an interview Oct. 25.

The boxes consist of “in-kind donations” that include dry rations such as pasta and tea bags, clothes, and hygiene and children’s supplies.

Darwish said the PCC is collaborating with the Student Council and the Jordanian Cultural Club. He added that 25 other cultural and interest-oriented organizations are hosting “mini-events” under the campaign.

For example, Darwish said, the game development and virtual reality clubs hosted a Palestine virtual tour in the Engineering Sciences Building. He added such events will continue until Nov. 9. 

According to Darwish, the PCC will send the proceeds and donations to the Emirates Red Crescent as a part of its Tarahum for Gaza campaign, an Arabic word meaning compassion.

Darwish said the Emirates Red Crescent will ship the aid to Rafah Border Crossing. When the donations will reach Gaza is uncertain, he added, but some shipments are starting to be allowed in so that gives the PCC “hope that other shipments will start to enter soon.”

“Our duty is to do as much as we can in collecting the donations, and soon once the border opens, the donations will enter,” Darwish said.

A challenge the PCC is facing in their efforts is resource limitation because that impacts their ability to “execute large-scale projects and campaigns effectively,” he added. Darwish said it has also been difficult to organize those events in such a short amount of time. 

The AUS community’s support has helped the club mostly overcome those challenges and their contribution is “sincerely appreciated,” Darwish said.
Students have been wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh, a black and white scarf, on campus to show their solidarity with the country. Events have also been cancelled such as the MCM Mixer that was supposed to take place on Oct. 18 at 5 p.m.