IR Club, MSA to raise funds for Syrian refugees

From April 9 to 15, students in the International Relations Club and the Muslim Students and Friends Association will sell sunglasses and Frisbees to raise funds for the refugees affected by the recent and ongoing turmoil in Syria and its bordering countries.

Sophomores Adam Shafik, the co-president of MSA, and Carly Biondi, the public relations coordinator of IR club, said they led both groups to decide that the events in Syria were worthy of the attention of the Geneseo campus.

“The United Nations reports that over 400 children have been killed and that an additional 400 have been imprisoned and brutally tortured,” Shafik said. “Over 130,000 Syrians have fled to refugee camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.”

“Thousands of people are dying, and the United States and the Arab League can’t intervene and aren’t intervening,” Biondi said. “No one is really sending these refugees the aid that they need.”

Biondi, an international relations major, said she recently became invested in the events in Syria and brought the idea of a fundraiser to IR Club. She said she approached Shafik knowing that two clubs working together for a cause would be better than just one.

Proceeds of the fundraiser will go to the Islamic Medical Association of North America SaveSyria fund. With 93 percent of donations going to the refugees in the Middle East, Shafik said that he feels confident sending the funds they plan to raise to IMANA.

“People need to realize how much of a lack of humanity there is in other parts of the world,” Shafik said.

In addition to selling sunglasses and Frisbees, the club members said they hope to host a potluck dinner in mid-April with all proceeds going to the same cause. To donate directly to IMANA, go to