Muslim student orgs raise thousands for Pakistan flood relief

Several Muslim student organizations at NYU hosted Charity Week, an international initiative geared toward assisting children in need around the world, from Monday, Oct. 25 to Sunday, Oct. 30.


Yezen Saadah

A student speaks at the kick-off event of a fundraising event organized by Muslim student groups in support of flood relief in Pakistan. (Yezen Saadah for WSN)

Yezen Saadah, Staff Writer

Several Muslim student organizations at NYU have raised nearly $14,000 for Charity Week USA 2022 — an annual volunteer-led global campaign in which students raise money for children in need. One of the week’s priorities this year is to help those affected in Pakistan by historic floods, which have displaced millions and prompted warnings of a food crisis in a country that has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world.

NYU’s Muslim Student Association, the Tandon Muslim Students Association and the Black Muslim Initiative at NYU fundraised with a series of events between Monday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct. 30, and will continue to raise money until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 11 to reach their goal of $100,000. Charity Week’s overall proceeds will also be put toward education and hunger initiatives in countries including Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria and Somalia. 

Charity Week is organized by the nonprofit Islamic Relief and operates in six countries. Gallatin student Mariama Stevenson, the vice director of New York Charity Week and a member of the Muslim Student Association, said that in years past, the initiative’s theme has ranged from Lego to Marvel. 

“This year, the theme is sports with the hashtag ‘#UnitedWeWin,’” Stevenson said. “The vision of Charity Week is to inspire young people to be active, to become socially engaged in their communities and their campuses and unite with each other on our shared Islamic and humanitarian values.”

Last year, NYU’s Charity Week raised just under $100,000 to supply emergency aid and relief, and to help build medical centers and schools across the world. This year, the organizations held events to spread awareness of Charity Week, including Unity-Fest a day of games at Central Park and an annual gala and auction in the Pfizer Auditorium at the Tandon School of Engineering. 

Reham Perry, GPH master’s student and ambassador for the New York Charity Week, said the initiative is a unique way to create change and that she hopes to cultivate a space where everyone can participate.

“Charity Week makes a direct change in people’s lives but with a different mindset,” Perry said. “For example, if you’re trying to address an issue with hunger, passing out meals is great, but it doesn’t address the fact that people will be hungry tomorrow. Charity Week says, ‘Hey, let’s take this money, feed people and build a bakery that people can work in and eat from.’”

Contact Yezen Saadah at [email protected].