At our vestry meeting just the other day, we were discussing ways in which we might become more involved in global concerns. We’ve been focused pretty intently on the question of our own survival and the needs of our local neighborhood recently, and we were envisioning a time in the not too distant future when we might have the luxury of expanding our vision somewhat.
Randy brought up the Syrian refugee crisis. The plight of refugees attempting to cross Eastern Europe particularly touches our hearts on account of the Hungarian heritage of our parish. We were thinking that we might begin contributing in some small way to an organization working for refugee resettlement in the United States. We asked Randy to do some investigation of our options.
A few days later, Randy received the following notice from Notre Dame:
Syria Speaks: Syrian Refugee Amin Ahmed comes to Notre Dame
When: October 29th from 11:00am – noon
Where: DeBartolo 155
Please note: due to the danger faced by our guest no photos will be allowed at this event.
On October 29th we have the tremendous privilege of welcoming to our campus Syrian refugee and activist Amin Ahmed, who will tell us firsthand about the refugee crisis and do a Q&A. Come hear his voice on behalf of the millions of silenced refugees. After the Assad regime’s crackdown in 2011, Mr. Ahmed joined an effort to secretly aid wounded and sick civilians. When his work was discovered in 2012 he was forced to flee. Now in America, he has joined the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, a coalition of over 50 organizations who have combined forces to raise awareness and emergency funds for disaster relief agencies working on the ground in the Middle East.
He will be joined by Dr. Georgette Bennett, founder of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees and President of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. Dr. Bennett has also served in the U.S. State Department Religion and Foreign Policy initiative’s working group which developed recommendations for the Secretary of State on countering religion-based violence. Together they will share with us their unique perspective on the refugee crisis and tell us what we can do to help. Approximately 30 minutes will be available for Q&A.
Information about how to help refugees in the South Bend area will also be made available. Don’t miss this unique opportunity!
This event is cosponsored by the Graduate Theological Society at Notre Dame, the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley, and the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees.
I would encourage as many of you as are available to attend this event!