Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 28 October 2020

Beirut blast: Dubai school pupils and alumni set up donation drive for victims

Initiative to help those affected in Lebanon was organised in partnership with Emirates Red Crescent

School pupils and alumni in Dubai are collecting food and medical supplies to help the victims of the deadly Beirut Port explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital last week.

The donation drive, held from August 14 to 16, was organised by Al Mawakeb School alumni, in partnership with Emirates Red Crescent.

On August 4, 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded at Beirut Port, killing 171 people and injuring more than 5,000 as well as damaging tens of thousands of homes and shops.

The donation drive is taking place at the Al Mawakeb School in Al Barsha, Dubai, from August 14 to August 16. Source: Al Mawakeb School
The donation drive is taking place at the Al Mawakeb School in Al Barsha, Dubai, from August 14 to August 16. Source: Al Mawakeb School

“I’m heartbroken and angry over what has happened,” said Alissar Soubra, chief academic officer at the school, who is from Lebanon.

“When the explosion happened, I was overwhelmed by the amount of calls and messages from our alumni, the parents, students and friends from all over the world – everyone was devastated.

“It is our responsibility as humans to help those who need it and our incredible alumni stepped forward to organise this donation drive, with our current pupils and parents who will be volunteering their time to help us during the event.”

Alissar Nasr Soubra, chief academic officer at the Al Mawakeb School, Dubai. Courtesy: Al Mawakeb School
Alissar Soubra, chief academic officer of Al Mawakeb School, Dubai. Courtesy: Al Mawakeb School

The school is encouraging residents to donate food and supplies including canned food, beans, rice, pasta and baby food and supplies.

Donations of basic medication can include first aid burn cream, cough and cold medications and antacids.

The school is also accepting antibiotic ointment, eyewash solution, thermometers, oxygen masks, gloves, and syringes with different sizes, among others.

Pupils as young as 16 are involved in the initiative and will be volunteering to help collect donations.

“Youth involvement in a drive like this is necessary because they are the fabric of the future. Youth that drives on empathy is what makes this incredible,” said Ms Soubra.

Source: Al Mawakeb School, Dubai 
Source: Al Mawakeb School, Dubai

“It’s built into the culture of the students in the UAE, especially in our school. I find it amazing that they came together and produced this so quickly. It’s inspirational and their presence in our lives is necessary.”

Cash donations will not be accepted.

The drive will be held at Al Mawakeb School in Al Barsha, Dubai.

The UAE has stepped up to help the people of Lebanon in many different ways this week.

The art community has been screening films to raise funds to support Lebanese artists and restaurants have been running campaigns for donations.

UAE leaders have sent large shipments of aid to Lebanon since the explosion, including tonnes of Covid-19 equipment and millions in donations, which will go to Emirates Red Crescent's relief efforts.

This week, Dubai airport officials welcomed 163 passengers from Beirut with white roses as a show of support.

Updated: August 12, 2020 05:02 PM

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