• Al Salam School
  • donations
  • education
  • hope
  • Philanthropy
  • Refugees
  • schools
  • Tariq Farid Foundation

Because of my family history and my own personal experiences, there are two subjects that will immediately grab my attention when I hear about them — the plight of refugees and lack of access to education.

As a child, I still remember very clearly my family members telling us of the hopelessness and fear that comes when you are forced, with little warning, to abandon your long-time home because of political turmoil. And as I have written many times, I also know that I would not be where I am today if not for the caring teachers and support I received when my family moved to the United States and I was trying to learn a new language and culture.

That’s why I was immediately touched by a story I heard on the radio recently about the work being done by the Syrian Kids Foundation and its Al Salam School.

The school, near Turkey’s busiest border crossing with Syria, provides educational opportunities for almost 2,000 Syrian refugee children. The school was created by a Syrian-Canadian pharmacist who still runs the school with fellow Syrian-Canadian volunteers.

The plight of refugees—especially Syrian refugees—has reached epic proportions and is one that should concern us all. According to UNICEF, approximately 2.7 million Syrian children do not have access to schools, either in Syria or in countries such as Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan to which they have fled.

One of the aspects of the Al Salam School that especially caught my attention is the fact that almost all of the teachers and staff members are also Syrian refugees. That means that not only is the school helping refugee children, but it’s also providing gainful employment to adult refugees.

The work that the team at the Syrian Kids Foundation is doing is critical in providing hope to thousands of children who currently find themselves in hopeless situations. That’s why I did not hesitate to contact them as soon as I heard the news story and offer the support of the Tariq Farid Foundation.

Following are a few photos of the terrific work the organization is doing. To learn more about the Syrian Kids Foundation and how you can show your support, I encourage you to visit syriankids.ca.

(Photos by Mohamad Ojjeh)

Al Salam School students

Al Salam School student and teacher

Al Salam School student and teacher

Al Salam School student with her supplies

Al Salam School students

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  • Charity
  • education
  • hope
  • New Haven Register
  • opportunity
  • skill development
  • Tariq Farid Foundation
  • Youth
  • Youth@Work

Since my family immigrated to the United States when I was just a child, I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand the many benefits and blessings this great country has to offer. And as I have written many times, I strongly believe that with success comes responsibility.

As a proud American and a living example that the American Dream is alive and well, there is no greater feeling for me than knowing that I am now able to help others who are less fortunate as they strive to achieve their dreams.

That is why I have created the Tariq Farid Foundation, a philanthropic, non-profit corporation providing support for worthwhile causes in the US and throughout the world.

The mission of the Tariq Farid Foundation is to alleviate suffering by providing for the basic needs of food and healthcare, and to improve lives through the support of education and skill development opportunities that enable individuals to reach their full potential.

We work toward our mission by supporting initiatives and organizations that:

  • Feed the hungry and increase access to healthy foods.
  • Provide healthcare services to those in need.
  • Provide educational and job training opportunities.
  • Improve the lives of women and children.

Already, I feel we are making a difference.

Earlier this month the Foundation provided a grant to the Youth@Work program of New Haven that will help create at least 30 summer jobs for area youth.

Late last week, the Foundation made a donation to the New Haven Register Fresh Air Fund, which will help send children to summer camp that would not otherwise be able to afford to attend.

We have also made several donations to food pantries and soup kitchens across Connecticut as well as to organizations that will provide youth with skill development opportunities this summer.

And this is just the start.

When my family moved to the United States, we had very little financial wealth, but we had hope — hope that we would be able to build a better life for ourselves. I can think of no greater tragedy than to be trapped in a situation in which all hope has disappeared. Yet in my travels around the world, I have seen first-hand that there are many men, women and children in such situations, with little or no hope that tomorrow will be any better than today.

My vision for the Tariq Farid Foundation is that we will be able to provide hope for a better future to those who need it most. And I hope that others will share my enthusiasm for helping those in need whenever and wherever possible.


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