The IAC has broad objectives and we have been fortunate in that our projects have been varied covering humanitarian assistance, educational programmes and cultural events. Our projects have included:
- funding a project for the water sanitation in a district of Rafah in Gaza which benefitted 1500 people in the area. The project was initiated by the World Bank and carried out by the Coastal Water Municipality Utilities.
- helped to provide for the convoy organised by the Syrian Orthodox Church to give aid to displaced Iraqis.
- contributed to the Red Crescent to help with blankets and medical aid for Syrian refugees during the winter months.
- visited Syria in 2007 to help with Women’s Empowerment Programmes. The trustees were also moved by “Hand in Hand”, an organisation helping mentally disabled children..
- helping amputees in the Palestinian Camps in Lebanon – improving on existing clinics to provide better fitting artificial limbs, better communications with the hospitals, providing essential equipment for the clinics to operate effectively, and to give training for the technicians and physiotherapists. We have recently contributed to the refugee crisis from Nahr-Al-Bared, in Lebanon, for medical supplies.
- we sponsored Medical Aid for Iraqi Children, MAIC, to hold an oncological forum in the Geographical Society to show the increases in cancers and birth defects since the first Gulf War.
- we worked with MAP on projects in the West Bank and Gaza such as helping teenagers with psychological problems
- helping war-trauma victims with their hospital expenses.
- sponsoring orphans in Gaza for their schooling and living expenses.
- helping provide for several Iraqi families in Iraq on annual basis.
- contributing to the Lebanese Red Cross for the 2006 war in Lebanon for emergency assistance.
- giving to emergency appeals such as the Tsunami and Pakistan Earthquake disasters.
- Esmat El Said School – the charity has run an Arabic school in West London since 1976 which has helped to educate hundreds of UK based Arabic children in their mother tongue and employs 13 teachers with an intake of 180 pupils per annum.
- the Syrian Embassy organised for our trustees to visit Women’s organisations in Syria to promote women’s training programs to help them integrate into the job market. Accordingly, the IAC is sponsoring a few of these projects to help women become more independent and to contribute to the community.
- we have sponsored many Arab students to help further their education in the UK
- we have also sponsored Moroccan street kids into work training programmes.
- as part of our cultural/educational objectives, we host and participate in lectures and events. In September 2005 we invited H.E.Amre Moussa to lecture on the Prospects of the Middle East. This was done in conjunction with Arab Media Watch and the Arab Club of Britain as three Pan-Arab organisations inviting the Head of the Arab League to talk about Arab Unity.
- the IAC has a continued commitment to promoting Arab films in London – we feel that as we now have a whole generation of young Arabs who have grown up in the West, it is more important than ever for Westerners to gain a sympathetic insight into the Arab mind. We have sponsored the Zenith Arab Film Festival in BAFTA as well as the annual SOAS Palestine Film Festival.
- we also brought Kasem Al Sahir to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2006 in a charitable event and as part of our objectives to introduce our culture to the West.
- we regularly host fund raising dinners which help to foster the spirit of the community.
Additionally the IAC works closely with other charities and organisations assisting them in their work.
Helping amputees in the Palestinian Camps in Lebanon
There are currently twelve refugee camps in Lebanon housing over 400,000 Palestinian refugees, many of whom have been born and bred in these camps. They are possibly even more neglected than the people in the camps in Palestine; they have a different set of problems. There are 78 professions that Palestinians are not allowed to work in and there are far too few secondary schools for the number of students. It is hard for them to see a good future, to be independent and to feel like they have something to contribute. These stresses breed all kinds of problems – we were lost as to where to start to help. One of our trustees, Lubna Samara, visited a few of the camps in April 2004 and while there she noticed several amputees without artificial limbs.
When we made inquiries we found that although some aid was available, it wasn’t filtering through in a significant way. Our long term aim is to set up centralised clinics that specialise for the amputees – a one stop shop that will help them with funding, medical treatments, physiotherapy, rehabilitation as well as provide the limbs. We have joined forces with Response International (RI) (www.hmdresponse.org.uk) who have produced a thorough assessment for us to submit to funding bodies for grants to fund the project. We are very pleased to report that the project has received $200,000 from DFID (Foreign Office) to proceed with enhancing the clinics.