Trinity United Church in Napanee will be hosting the Friends of Heba Concert and Dinner on Saturday Nov. 16. The event will run from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
The event is a fundraiser put on by Friends of Heba, a group whose aim is to help provide necessary funds for Heba Alahmad, a Syrian refugee who arrived in the community this past summer. The event will feature bands, such as Syrian Hope, and a Syrian feast made by Razan’s kitchen. Steve Medd, Jon McLurg and Joe Ramsay will also be performing. In anticipation of the event, co-organizer Cliff Trott spoke with the Beaver.
Trott explains that, although several members of the Hosni family came to the area three years ago, Alahmad was not part of that group. Instead she found herself in Jordan, where her husband left her, taking her two children with him. Alahmad’s sister had already immigrated to the Napanee area, which is how Trott and other like minded individuals found out about her plight. “As a committee, we wanted to see if we’d bring her here. There was no money on the refugee program. That was a done deal, so part of the process was, we needed to have a certain amount of money in the bank to get started. So, she’s not being funded by the government. She’s being funded by individuals including people like myself. It wasn’t an easy task to get her here and we had a lot of help,” stated Trott.
He explained Friends of Heba is comprised of about 15 good samaritans, who have raised approximately $12,000 to cover the cost of Alahmad’s first year in Canada. “This is a project that’s ongoing. There are a lot of issues around bringing someone in who doesn’t speak English and doesn’t have health care, which is part of why we’re doing this fundraiser, to help bring us to that $18,000 commitment, which goes to food, healthcare, clothing, general room and board, and the cost of transportation,” explained Trott. As Trott states, people will not necessarily support strangers, so he hopes members of the public will come to the fundraising event to learn about Alahmad’s story.
The concert is $25 and the dinner is $30. A combined ticket, for the concert and dinner, can be purchased for $50. Tickets are now available at Trinity United Church, (25 Bridge Street E), Ellena’s Cafe (16 Dundas Street E) in Napanee or online by visiting www.eventbrite.ca and searching the Friends of Heba Concert.