Thursday, September 23, 2021
It was a busy and energetic weekend for thousands of AUB alumni and friends in 14 countries around the world. They ran (and walked) at the Charles River Esplanade in Boston, Massachusetts and Beirut, Lebanon; ran, walked, and biked at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto, Canada (and raised more than twice their original fundraising goal); gathered in Broumana, Lebanon and Nicosia Centre, Cyprus; ran, walked, and hiked in Santa Monica, California and Male', Maldives – and in dozens of other locations around the world in Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Lebanon, Maldives, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK, and the US – all in support of the second annual AUB4Beirut Run, which took place on September 17-19, 2021. President Fadlo and Dr. Lamya Khuri also took part. An estimated 590 participants ran, walked, hiked, and biked more than 3,500 kilometers during the three-day AUB4Beirut Run, raising more than $115,000 from more than 800 donations but that’s only part – and not even the most important part – of the story.
“Like last year,” explained Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations-North America and general secretary of WAAAUB, AUB’s alumni association, Lina Jazi, “the primary purpose of the run is to rally our worldwide community to show solidarity for Lebanon and AUB during this terribly difficult time. The great participation in the run shows how much so many people care – and that they want to support each other and do what they can for Lebanon. I am especially grateful to the people in Lebanon who took part – despite all of the challenges they are facing. They deserve special recognition and appreciation.”
The first AUB4Beirut Run took place a year ago, on September 18-20, 2020, only six weeks after the August 4 explosion. “We were all in shock,” remembered Jazi. “In some ways, the situation is even more difficult now because of the economic and financial collapse that is causing so many people in the country to lose hope, but AUB is strong and so is its commitment to the people of Lebanon.”
Thirty WAAAUB alumni chapters and 590 individual participants mobilized their family and friends to raise funds for particular AUB initiatives including student scholarships, the Emergency Fuel Fund, and needy patients at the AUB Medical Center. “This event is becoming truly global with alumni and chapters in five continents taking part this year,” commented Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Salma Dannawi Oueida. “We look forward to the participation of even more alumni chapters in next year’s run.”
Eighty-five donors supported the New England Chapter Run, for example, raising more than $13,000 for the AUBMC Needy Patient Fund. The Toronto, Greater Los Angeles, Ottawa, UK, Houston, New York Metropolitan, and Baltimore Chapters were also especially successful in securing donations. The top individual participants were Racha Kabbara in Abu Dhabi, who raised almost $5,400 from 32 donors, and Hiba Melhem Stancofski in Delaware, who raised more than $5,200 from 44 donors. For the second year in a row, staff and friends of Sitti Restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina also participated.
“I am so proud of all of our alumni and friends for their efforts,” said Jazi. “Everyone is a winner in my book. We’re all in this together. I feel this so profoundly – that we are all one community for Lebanon, and for AUB.”
You will find some terrific photos from this global event here.