Mariela Shaker, an accomplished Syrian violinist, performed at Lafayette College in November of 2017. Intertwining music and narration, Shaker delivered a powerful performance on her experience as a refugee in the United States and the hardship she has had to overcome in her career. After her performance she spoke of her experiences as a Syrian refugee in the United States and answered questions posed by the audience.
Elias Matar, an independent filmmaker, presented his documentary “Children of Beqaa” in October of 2017 at Lafayette College. His film details his volunteer work in June of 2016 with refugees in Lebanon. He worked through a local NGO, Salam LADC, to support refugees and helped Salam LACD provide Syrian refugees in the Beqaa Valley access to education, clean water, and community projects. His filmed helped Lafayette understand that in the Beqaa valley, over 500,000 Syrian refugees currently live in limbo, with no country, nearly no rights, few opportunities for education, and not enough food. Following the film, Matar led a discussion on refugee camp conditions, the impact of NGOs and humanitarian aid, and on giving a voice to refugees through documentary making. Click here to see the trailer for “Children of Beqaa”. https://vimeo.com/202116481.
Much of our work as an organization is to support our local resettlement agency. We partnered with Don Juan’s to raise funds for Bethany Christian Services in September of 2017. Proceeds from meals purchased at that restaurant for an evening were used to assist refugees in their resettlement.