PCRF Chicago fundraiser raises over $200,000
The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund’s (PCRF) Chicago chapter raised over $200,000 during its 8th annual fundraising dinner in Rosemont, IL.
The event was sold out, and kicked off with a locally based music ensemble singing Mawtini, a Palestinian poem written by Ibrahim Touqan. Following the performance, the emcee spoke about PCRF’s dedication to the health and rehabilitation of not only Palestinian children, but Syrian and Iraqi children suffering from the effects of war in their home countries. The opening remarks were followed by a video of various patients, who PCRF has come in contact with declaring their love and appreciation for the work PCRF does.
Dr. Khaled Abughazaleh, PCRF Chairmen of the Board, was surprised with a tribute video to congratulate him for his recent appointment.
“I do not do this work alone,” he said to the packed room.
During his speech, Dr. Abughazaleh stressed, the work PCRF does would not be possible without the contributions of private donors.
Dr. Ahmed Tibi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament), was the keynote speaker of the event. His entire speech was delivered in Arabic.
Dr. Tibi stressed that as a physician and a politician, he strives to cure the maladies in both spheres of his work. When asked about Israel’s status as Jewish and Democratic, Dr. Tibi said “Israel claims to be Jewish and Democratic. And it is. However, democratic to its Jewish citizens and Jewish to its Arab citizens.” At the end of his speech, Dr. Tibi urged the crowd to remain steadfast and hopeful for the future.
Afterwards, the music ensemble came back to the stage and performed famous Palestinian nationalist songs about liberation, and encouraged the crowd to join together and dance dabka, a folkloric dance popular in the Levant.
The PCRF is a registered non-political, non-profit, 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that was established in 1991 “to address the medical and humanitarian crisis facing Palestinian youths in the Middle East. It has since expanded to help suffering children from the region, based only on their medical needs,” according to its mission statement.