By Christelle Khattar
Ever wonder about the little girl and boy wearing dirty T-shirts and broken flip flops, selling Chiclets on the side of the highway in Lebanon? Many people do; but are taught to shut the windows and ignore them. Although most Lebanese individuals were raised to accept this unfortunate situation, there is a new force that has sought out to destruct this common belief.
The Nawaya Network is a non-profit organization based in Lebanon. Zeina Saab, Nawaya founder, and her team aspire to empower at-risk and underprivileged Lebanese youth by connecting their interests to financial and educational resources. On January 10th, Georgetown University in Washington D.C. hosted Nawaya representative Helene Hamady to present on the Network to a collective of ULC students in the DC-Virginia area. The University of Virginia, the College of William & Mary, Virginia Tech, and, of course, Georgetown University were all in attendance.
The presentation invigorated everyone to give back to Lebanon, which was one of the primary goals. Each individual left wanting to change issues that would normally be ignored in Lebanese society, one example being marginalized children. As was stated in the presentation, any one of these kids on the street could be the next Einstein, Messi, or Picasso if only they were allowed to water their talents with resources and guidance so that they could grow. Altogether, it was a wonderful evening and lucky for the attendees, no one left with an empty stomach as food and drinks were served. Special thanks to Joe Sadek who spearheaded the event, Maya Gebeily who coordinated the location for the meeting, and a special thanks to Helene Hamady for making the trip to speak about the Nawaya Network.