Big, bright, brilliant night - Galilee Foundation

Big, bright, brilliant night

The Galilee Foundation held its bi-annual gala dinner on May 11th at London’s One Mayfair. The event lived up to its theme and was indeed a ‘Big. Bright. Brilliant.’ evening with over 260 guests in attendance. We received heart-warming feedback from many,  who enjoyed a fabulous evening of fun and laughter.

Mrs Sawsan Asfari, the Galilee Foundation’s Executive Director, introduced the work of the Galilee Foundation and the importance of its Scholarship programme for Palestinian students in Israel. She emphasised the importance of empowering the indigenous Palestinian community in Israel by supporting educational and cultural projects that re-enforce their Palestinian identity, culture and history. She also explained the theme of the evening: “Big is what we have dared to dream; Brilliant is the audience we hope you will be tonight; and Bright is the future that we hope you will help us to provide.”

Dr Marwan Bishara, chairman of the Galilee Foundation and the keynote speaker at the dinner, told guests that their support would translate into empowerment and solidarity, helping underprivileged youth to get ahead.

He alluded to the “motivating” film, MacFarland, in which Kevin Costner plays a coach who helps Latino high school students win California’s running championship and attain university scholarships. And there are many other similarly themed films, Marwan continued, in which individuals help to empower underprivileged youth.

“But tonight, it’s you who are the real stars,” he said. “No Hollywood, no fiction, no spin. This is charity at it’s best.”

“Charity is generally motivated by the heart or by the mind. It’s meant to help heal wounds, save lives, build shelters or help educate, train and build futures. The two are, of course, complementary; driven by the generosity of the soul. Our foundation combines heart, mind and soul,” he said. “We aim to help the poor and displaced, help communities tackle discrimination, and aid students to get education through our vast scholarship programme. Let’s make this a night to remember for the hundreds of students we help each year.”

One of the highlights of the evening came in the form of 20 minutes of laughter, courtesy of Maz Jobrani, a Persian-American stand up comic and actor.

The Galilee Foundation is incredibly grateful to its generous guests who attended and supporters who couldn’t attend but who helped make the night possible; the Foundation’s friends who generously donated items for the silent and live auctions; the members of the organising committee; and the many volunteers on hand who helped the night unfold smoothly.

Some photos from the evening follow below.


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