I am sitting in Charlotte Patisserie sipping on a large cup of coffee, full from devouring a ratatouille omelet, listening to Amy Winehouse and trying to decide which cake to get for dessert. It’s these little moments that I suspect I’d miss if I were to flee this place one day. In our comfort zone, it’s easy to feel disconnected and turn a blind eye to what is going on in Syria. But if you are in a good place as you read this, imagine life as you know it being torn from you. Look around and try to visualize it turning into a dangerous and scary place. Capture the feeling of desperation that would drive you to risk everything you care about and get on a boat to nowhere specific. I think the very last vestiges of hope would quickly slip away if I stumbled upon strange shores to be met with shut doors and suspicion. Don’t succumb to the culture of fear or indifference. Let’s show love the Greenpoint way!

This Sunday (12/13), the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell St) is hosting a Syrian Refugee Relief Benefit Concert. Buy tickets and/or donate. 100% of the proceeds go to relief effort.

Renowned Syrian-American musician Gaida will join Karam Foundation CEO Lina Sergie Attar and relief worker Zora O’Neill for a beautiful night of celebrating life and compassion.

by John Stanmeyer courtesy of National Geographic

Gaida, the “Syrian Nightingale” renowned for her impeccable musical intuition and velvety yet crystalline voice, will sing bluesy originals from her album “Levantine Indulgence.” Gaida’s music combines complex Levantine rhythms with breezy hints of bossa nova, pounding belly dance beats, and jazz swing.

Sergie Attar, whose organization Karam Foundation provides programming and aid for Syrian refugees, and relief worker O’Neill, who recently returned from cooking meals for refugees in Lesvos, Greece, will speak and give slideshow presentations of their work.


Proceeds will benefit the Karam Foundation, a Syrian-American foundation that works in Reyhanli, Turkey, on the border with Syria. The foundation works in the Reyhanli schools, bringing a team of health professionals — doctors, therapists and opthamologists — to treat the traumatized children who have fled Syria.

Sunday, December 13
7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The Park Church Co-op (129 Russell Street)
RSVP on Facebook
Buy Tickets

Contact Dakota Kim (Dakota.kim@Rutgers.edu) with questions or to learn more.

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