A kind-hearted woman is trying to make the world a better place by helping Syrian refugees find shelter.
Lina Sergie Attar is a Syrian-American woman who is the CEO and co-founder of the Karam Foundation. She was born in New York and then moved to Syria and lived there for 12 years until she graduated university. Starting the Karam Foundation all came to her with only one question in mind, “What are the needs? What do the Syrian refugees need?”
And so, with this question in mind, she started finding out what these Syrians needed when arriving in her country and she started getting it for them. She gathered food and medical supplies at first, but after a while, she realized the children coming in the country needed education, so she started providing that for them as well. This is how the Karam Foundation escalated and came to be what it is today.
Ms. Attar told a story from 2012 of a woman, who had a husband and two children. They were all refugees besides the husband; he stayed in Syria and left the woman with the two children. The three family members lived in a plastic tent, which was not flame resistant. Since it was cold, the mom left a lit candle in the tent while she went to the bathroom at night and when she came back, the entire tent was up in flames. Her two children died in the fire. Although Ms. Attar was not present when this event happened, hearing the mother tell the story and seeing that woman cry made her shed many tears.
She has had some hopeful experiences. In the Karam foundation, there was an intelligent boy named Yasser. But he did not want to go to school. He wanted to stop going so he could spend the entire day in the Karam Foundation and for Ms. Attar to have seen how much a refugee loved this foundation made her exceedingly happy.
“This is why being with young people gives me hope,” she said.
Seeing how much of a difference the Karam Foundation was making for so many different children and parents is what kept her going. She stated that when a huge risk turns out the way you wanted it to be or even better, that’s when you know you’ve succeeded and this is exactly what happened to her with the Karam Foundation. This foundation was a very small business at first but they are now creating many Karam Foundations all across the globe, helping many refugees.
Working in the Karam Foundation has brought Ms. Lina many sad experiences and memories, but also many happy ones and all she wants to do is to keep helping these refugees in need and always being open to listen to others and being open to help as many people as possible.