Anera Celebrates Its 53rd Annual Gala

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Coming Together With Hope

Anera held its 2021 Global Gala on Friday, October 2. For the second year in a row, the primary event was virtual. Anera hosted a small, in-person viewing party in Washington, DC for vaccinated members of the board of directors, staff, sponsors and honorary hosts.

Sean Carroll delivers remarks at Anera’s 53rd annual gala, and his fifth as president and CEO of Anera.

Taking advantage of the online format, the Gala doubled as a virtual concert to raise funds for Anera’s work. Anera’s community of supporters came together to raise funds to strengthen the ties connecting people and build hope through community action.

There is still time to donate! Your support helps refugees and vulnerable communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan live with well-being and hope. We’re only about $6,000 short of our $30,000 match goal, so please spread the word about this match to your friends and family by sharing this link: anera.org/gala-donate.

Despite the hardships that threaten even our own ability to work, our community – you – have stepped up. Anera last year delivered more than $112 million dollars of assistance to Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese in need. Nearly double what we did just two years ago. Much of this support is in donated medicines and medical supplies – critically needed as COVID strains health systems across the world, and particularly in Palestine and Lebanon. Your support ensures we can transport and deliver those medical donations to those most in need. Your support builds schools and trains teachers. It provides vocational training and skills for first time jobs and career acceleration. It helps build greenhouses and farms to put food on the table and money in household pockets. It builds businesses, including catering cooperatives that sell to schools, and provide humanitarian relief when called upon.

We are building facts on the ground. Lasting legacies. Just this past year, in Palestine, we built three new schools, nearly 500 greenhouses and rooftop gardens, eight water filtration systems, and two water wells, most of them powered by solar energy. In addition to physical infrastructure, we’re constructing lives and livelihoods, building with hopes and aspirations, fueled by real opportunities. In Lebanon, our vocational training graduates are getting jobs, even as unemployment and poverty grow. These young people also are responding to and learning from the humanitarian crisis in the country.

At the Gala this year, we honored a special partner, the National Arab American Medical Association. NAAMA and its members have supported Anera for nearly 20 years. Together the two organizations have made vital contributions to the medical systems of the Middle East and helped ensure some of the most vulnerable people in the region have access to healthcare.

The Gala featured original performances from brilliant Palestinian and Lebanese musicians who use their art to touch on themes of freedom, equality, and love. Their music spans genres, from hip hop to opera to indie pop. The stellar lineup of performers for evening included indie rapper-singer Anees, musician and actress Maysa Daw, the seminal Palestinian rap group DAM, Palestinian singer Bashar Murad, the opera virtuoso Mariam Tamari, and the Lebanese alternative pop artist Zef.

Omar Offendum served as the Gala’s master of ceremonies and shared some his spoken word artistry.

Omar Offendum reprised his role as master of ceremonies — the first person to twice emcee an Anera gala.

Several of Anera’s honorary hosts attended in-person, including Ambassador Dina Kawar, Representative Rashida Tlaib, and Senator Chris Van Hollen.

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