Lebanon News

Young people unite to raise money for families

A view of a damaged building after an explosion in the Christian district of Ashrafieh in Beirut October 19, 2012. (REUTERS/Wadih Shlink)

BEIRUT: Young people from across Lebanon will unite Thursday to dance, sing and raise money for the families whose lives were shattered after a car bomb ripped through Ashrafieh Friday afternoon.

Students from universities across Lebanon have teamed up with NGO Offre Joie to host a charity concert called “Unite for Ashrafieh” Thursday night at University Saint Joseph’s campus near the National Museum.

Proceeds will benefit affected families through Offre Joie, which has begun assessing damage to apartments destroyed in an attack that left three dead and more than 100 people wounded.

Rami Ouzon, an organizer for the event, said the concert was the brainchild of a student at USJ, which has been instrumental in organization efforts. Jack Haddad posted a Facebook status over the weekend proposing the idea of a charity concert, which snowballed into reality.

“The status became viral,” Ouzon said, as thousands of people reposted the idea.

The concert will feature student musicians from USJ’s Music Club, as well as from other universities, playing pop rock and commercial tunes. DJs will open and close the night, and a surprise performer will be announced Wednesday.

One of the DJs playing Thursday night lost his home in Friday’s attack, Ouzon said.

As of 9 p.m. Monday night, 2,000 people said they were going on “Unite for Ashrafieh’s” Facebook page.

Dozens of students have also offered their help by selling tickets at their universities. The ticket donation costs $10, but organizers said concertgoers may give more if they wish. The event will also host a bake sale and drop-offs for clothing and non-perishable food donations, Ouzon said.

“We know that there are kids in hospitals, there are kids that lost their parents,” Ouzon said.

“And we don’t intend to stop our work after the concert is over.”

The event will begin at 8.30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets can be purchased through sellers listed on the “Unite for Ashrafieh’s” Facebook page.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 23, 2012, on page 4.




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