Our emerging Arabic program helps Arabic learners at Loyola find connections between classroom learning experience and multiple investments of Arabic as applied to their own worlds. Students celebrate their ability to own their Arabic learning as it fits their needs and enjoy discovering opportunities in which Arabic helps them in diverse personal contexts.

Together in a Night of Stars

Posted on: October 24th, 2017 by sabbadi No Comments

marHaba, our names are Dana Elchami and Maria Ravazoula. We are both juniors, Maria double-majoring in Psychology and Criminology with a minor in Arabic, and Dana majoring in Biology on the Pre-Dental track. Apart from being good friends, we are also running the Loyola chapter of an international organization called Palestine Children Relief Fund, a humanitarian relief organization based in Palestine that aims to provide medical care to children of every race, gender, and religion.

Our first event for the school year 2017-2018 was “A Night of Stars,” which aimed to provide entertainment to Loyola students and the general public. During the event, the audience enjoyed falafel sandwiches and knafe, and became accustomed to the Palestinian culture through the poems of Rania Salem and Yara Daoud, as well as the magical voices of Kareem Ibrahim and Waheeb Nasan. However, for us this event was of great importance, as it was a fundraising event. All the proceeds we earned, in addition to other donations we received, went towards sponsoring an orphan through the Zakat Foundation. During the event, we raised a total amount of about $800, an amount large enough to sponsor not one, but two orphans. For us, this was a great achievement. In an effort to make this event successful, we had employed all our energy, power and abilities into bringing as many people as possible and raising as much funds as possible.

What is amazing about our organization is that it has truly developed into one that is not strictly Palestinian, but multicultural. As we would stand on the stage of the Damen Den to address our audience, we were proud to see people from a variety of backgrounds gather together for the same purpose: to help aid a child in need. As an organization whose mission is to provide medical care to not only a select group of people, we strive to reach out to people in an inclusive manner. For a country can only rise when the world around her is in perfect harmony. Having a diverse eBoard even reveals our love for diversity as I, Dana, am from Palestine and Syria and I, Maria, am from Greece. In the media, the Middle East is often depicted as a threat to the West, causing fear and hatred to gravitate towards those nations.

Thus, our goal at PCRF is to remind people that Palestinian culture is in fact remarkable as it is the epitome of Arab hospitality in its effort to create a joyous environment through food, language, music, and poetry. Nevertheless, this event was a symbol of peace. We united different people together that inclusively enjoyed the elements of the Arabic Cultures. Thus, it was our ability to bring people together through this Arabian spirit presented through tasty ingredients and beautiful lyrics that helped make this event even more successful than expected.

This gathering of Loyola students shows that the Jesuit ideals Loyola strives to instill in its students flourish throughout our campus as our persistence to continue to come together through different outlets (in this case through Arabian culture) to make a difference in other vulnerable communities is quite evident in our success as a university.

We are proud to have gathered together through falafel, knafe, and the Arabic language and to put all our differences aside for the sake of the children of our future. We would like to thank everyone who came out that night as you all are the reason two children will be provided the necessities they need to move forward in this challenging world.

On a side note, I, Maria, and the whole Arabic program at Loyola would like to congratulate Dana, for receiving an Outstanding Nominee Award from the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honors Society for her hard work, outstanding academic achievements and amazing leadership skills.

*You can follow our Facebook page at facebook.com/pcrfluc, our Instagram @pcrf_luc, as well as the official PCRF page pcrf.net for more information about the organization and upcoming events.


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