With the current global refugee crisis and estimates of up to 3 million Syrians leaving their homes due to the unrest, UTM’s Muslim Students Association have partnered up with Tarboosh Restaurant and UTMSU to sponsor a Syrian family and bring them to Canada.

Hosted last week in the Student Centre, Sandwiches for Syria was the most recent fundraiser organized for the cause. Raising $1976.48, the event sold shawarma, falafel wraps, and baklava provided by Tarboosh Restaurant, which is owned by Bassam Esbait, a former refugee who contacted the MSA about raising funds to bring a Syrian family to Canada.

The goal of the fundraisers is $30,000, with approximately $7,000 needed to sponsor the family. The remaining $23,000 will sustain the family until they are capable of providing for themselves.

In an interview with MSA president Maleeha Baig, Baig expressed concern that the $30,000 goal will not be sufficient to assist the family.

Baig added that “main necessities such as health care will not be covered by the government”. According to Baig, once collected, the money will be deposited into a community account, which the family can then use and the government can easily check. As it stands, the organizers have not yet selected a family to sponsor as they are waiting until all formalities are complete and the $7,000 is raised; however, Baig says that it will be a “vulnerable” family consisting of a single parent with children.

Aside from raising money, the MSA have also collected clothing to be donated to Syrian refugees through their Syrian Clothing Drive, which ran from October 12 to November 6.

“I hope they’re successful events so we can help this family get here safely,” said Baig about their upcoming events.

Shawarma, falafel wraps, and baklava were sold at the fundraiser.
Shawarma, falafel wraps, and baklava were sold at the fundraiser.