Kal Penn Wins $25,000 for Palestinian Refugees
ABC’s “Designated Survivor” actor, Kal Penn, competed in “MasterChef Celebrity Showdown” and won $25,000 for Palestinian refugees.
Every Monday night thousands of people around the nation tune into FOX to watch a culinary showdown between select celebrities competing for a large donation for a charity of their choice. This episode was particularly special for Palestinians and other people in solidarity with them as one of the charities being represented is crucial in the aid for Palestinian refugees—UNRWA USA.
Last night’s first cook off was between Cheryl Hines, competing for United Cerebral Palsy, and Penn, competing for UNRWA USA. Kal Penn chose UNRWA USA, an organization of the United Nations that provides aid for Palestinian refugees. He introduces the charity by sharing with the audience that the prize money could potentially feed over 1,000 Palestinian refugees for a whole year. That was all the air time that was given to Penn to speak about the organization and Palestine.
The losing chef’s charity of choice was awarded $15,000
After their introductions, the competitors are quickly given their challenge, which was to cook a dish of their choice with beer. Their shared kitchens were stocked with hundreds of ingredients, food, and beer bottles. Hines cooked a simple chicken and waffles dish with a twist of an orange flavored beer marmalade. The judges found this dish to be a little bit too sweet with the all of the sugar ingredients and choice of marmalade. Kal Penn cooked a much more lavish dish, halibut tacos, which was beer marinated fish wrapped in beer infused handmade tortillas, topped with a citrus coleslaw and a chipotle beer aioli. Although one of his tortillas fell apart when picked up by Gordon Ramsay, the judges enjoyed his dish the most. Despite accidentally being poked in the eye by Cheryl Hine’s tongs and anxiously cooking under an hour, Kal Penn won the competition with his delicious Mexican-inspired dish.
UNRWA USA is run by 98 percent Palestinian refugees. Millions of Palestinian refugees are given opportunities to pursue university education through monetary aid, receive adequate healthcare services, seek mental health counseling to treat PTSD due to Israel’s terrorism, and other important social services. They have provided camps for the Palestinians who were forcibly exiled in 1948 and again in 1967 by Zionists. Originally over 750,000 Palestinians were displaced but that number has grown to over 5 million as Israel continues to deny UN Resolution 194 (III), Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their homes within historic Palestine and the remaining occupied lands. We can see why Kal Penn picked such an important organization, it is crucial to support Palestinian refugees until they are given the right to return to their homes.
Zionism and Israel have been responsible for the creation of these refugees since 1948. \ Penn’s small victory is a win for Palestinian refugees as the prize money will provide them with opportunities to continue surviving and rebuilding their community. This is a generous donation for an unpredictable future as Israel denies to abide to recent UN Resolution 2334, which demands the halt of illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian land, and actively continues to create more refugees.
People who make a donation to UNRWA USA can direct message Kal Penn’s twitter account (@kalpenn) their receipt and potentially receive a thank you postcard from him.