Sharjah/ UAE/PNN /
In collaboration with the Big Heart Foundation, American University of Sharjah (AUS) organized its second drive to extend support to the people in Gaza. The campaign “From AUS to Gaza with Love” held on November 11 featured Palestinian-themed workshops, films, children’s activities, and businesses, and a silent auction.
“In times of adversity, showing compassion and lending a helping hand to the people in Gaza is not only a testament to our solidarity, but also sends a message of hope and shared humanity, reminding us of the power we hold to create a positive impact where we can. We all have a collective responsibility to extend a helping hand, and through our campaign we are seeking to engage AUS students, faculty, staff and alumni through a variety of activities that not only help collect aid for Gaza, but also spread awareness about Palestine, its culture and community,” said Dr. Tod A. Laursen, Chancellor of AUS.
Organized by the AUS Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs (OAAA), the event included the workshop Young Reporters of Palestine by AUS alumna Samya Ayesh for ages four to 11, a Painting for Palestine session by AUS alumna Lynne Abdulhadi for all, and a session on Tatreez Therapy by Eman Al Khawaja for participants who were 15 years old and above.
The day also featured two film screenings: the animated film Zoo in collaboration with the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth and Gaza Surf Club, a feature documentary shown in collaboration with Cinema Akil and Reel Palestine.
Children as young as three years old also had the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities in the AUS Early Childhood Learning Corner, including an olive pickling workshop, Palestinian map keychain making, olive tree crafts, bookmark making, fridge magnet making as well as writing messages supporting the children of Palestine.
Participating in the event were a mix of Palestinian-themed business and alumni enterprises including 970 Rising, Arafat Sweets, The Broth Lab, Catcha Matcha, DAMMAH, Dardasha Books, Exhale, Feras Sweets, Globenir, Kalha, Kashkool, Mamaesh, Miramiah, Nature Nest, Reika, Rolz Gold, Wear The Clouds (alumni-owned), Yava and many more.
Throughout the day, AUS community members were also able to take part in a silent auction to bid on a curated selection of Palestinian-themed items.
Earlier last month, the AUS Palestinian Cultural Club (PCC), in collaboration with the UAE Red Crescent and the Big Heart Foundation, launched a three-week Tarahum with Gaza Campaign on campus raising AED 400,000, feeding into the Tarahum campaign launched by the UAE Red Crescent and the Big Heart Foundation for people affected by the war in Gaza. Embodying the values of empathy, unity and transformative giving, the campaign was supported by AUS Community Service and Outreach, the AUS Student Council, the AUS Jordanian Club and more than 20 other AUS cultural and interest-oriented student clubs. The on-campus campaign commenced with two days of awareness-building activities, followed by the collection of monetary and in-kind donations.