March 2017 Chapters Update
Welcome new Chapters, updates, and press--springing forward at Euphrates!
Over the past few months, we’ve seen a growing interest in our Chapters program from people around the world who are eager to get involved in grassroots bridge-building initiatives. We’re excited to welcome new members in Michigan, Washington DC, Burundi, Nigeria, Egypt, and Liberia to the Euphrates community! Through the application process and start-up phase for these Chapters, it’s evident that turning the ‘Other’ into a brother is a universal message that resonates with people everywhere.
➜ Kolkata, India
During World Interfaith Harmony Week (February 1-7), the Kolkata Chapter launched a video campaign on social media to share the perspectives of various members on the value of interfaith efforts. Enjoy watching one of the videos below and visit their Facebook page for more!
➜ St. Lawrence University, New York
This month, the St. Lawrence Chapter hosted a Syrian benefit gala, which included serving a banquet meal and hosting several speakers. The keynote was given by Dr. Ali, a physician who practices locally and is heavily involved in the support of some 5,000 refugees in Syracuse, mostly children and widows. He was accompanied by a school principal from the area who has waived most of the cost of attending school for refugee children. It costs about $600 a month per child to go to school in Syracuse and typically a family of 4 to 6 members only receives about $700 of total aid. Given the significant need to help refugee children attend school, all proceeds from the event are being donated to local refugee families. Janessa also introduced the Euphrates Institute and talked about our message and impact. Read an inspiring account of this event in the school news publication.
➜ Principia College
At recent Euphrates meetings on the Principia College campus, members have watched the Oscar award-winning documentary about The White Helmets; discussed topics such as the Syrian civil war, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Islamophobia; cooked taboule, and learned basic Arabic phrases together.
➜ Washington, DC
The Chapter hosted its first official kick off meeting while Janessa was visiting in February. They are a passionate and diverse group with lots of ideas and partnerships to explore in the area.
➜ Seattle, WA
Seattle is currently preparing for two major events in April. They will be hosting a film screening of “Disturbing the Peace,” an incredible documentary about a group called Combatants for Peace—former Israeli and Palestinian soldiers who are now working together to promote peaceful, non-violent co-existence. The organization was recently nominated for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize! If you’re in the Seattle area, you can purchase tickets online at http://gathr.us/screening/19346 and please help spread the word!
The Chapter is also hosting Janessa’s talk, “Turning the ‘Other’ into a Brother” at Town Hall in Seattle on Friday, April 14th at 7:30pm.
➜ Redding, California
The Chapter visited and took a tour of the local mosque and had a Euphrates booth at the Multicultural Festival in Redding. For their meeting in March, they invited Amjad, a Palestinian exchange student to talk about life in Gaza. Everyone who attended was moved by his honest and heartfelt account.
➜ UC Riverside, California
The UC Riverside Chapter recently held an interesting discussion about gender issues in the Middle East with Professor Sherine Hafez.
For more information about upcoming talks and activities in your area, check out our events calendar!
Leader of the Month:
In March, we are honoring Pamela from the St. Louis Chapter! We would like to recognize Pamela’s outstanding dedication to Euphrates as evidenced through her efforts to organize a successful speaking event in St. Louis on Janessa’s tour in February, her attendance at the recent J Street Conference in DC, and her participation in our trip to the Holy Land in September 2016. We are deeply grateful for the time and energy that Pamela brings to her role as a Chapter Leader!