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ITHACA, N.Y. – Twenty Cornell student organizations will co-sponsor a gala to raise money for Syrian refugees at the Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum on April 30.

The event, spearheaded by the Arab Students Association, will serve as a fundraiser to aid Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States.

RELATED: Mayor Myrick pledges to help Syrian refugees relocate to Ithaca

“I helped to plan this event because as an Egyptian, I recognize how quickly a political situation can rock the stability in one’s country,” said Salma Shitia, president of the Arab Students Association.

“Although I can still return back to Egypt to visit family, I know a lot of Syrians who can’t do the same.”


Shitia said that the event will not only act as a fundraiser, but as a celebration of Syrian culture, “through the promotion of the Levant’s music and through decor,” featuring Middle Eastern music and spoken word performances. Refreshments will be served.

Tickets to the event, which will start at 8 p.m., cost $10, and can be purchased by e-mailing Tickets are expected to sell out before the event, Shitia said.

The gala will also feature an auction for lunch or dinner with Mayor Svante Myrick and Bruce Monger, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

“The reason we have gotten so many different organizations involved is because we would like to present a diverse, united Cornellian/Ithacan front that supports the resettlement of refugees within the United States,” Shitia said. “We are honored so many people are joining the cause.”

WHO: The Arab Students Association and nineteen other Cornell student organizations

WHAT: A gala to fundraise for the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States

WHEN: April 30, 2016. 8 p.m. until 10 p.m.

WHERE: The Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum

WHY: To raise awareness, to raise funds, and to celebrate Syrian culture.

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Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.