By: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Middle Eastern Studies Student Association (MESSA) at the University of Chicago will hold its 3rd Annual Charity Gala supporting the Kurdish Cultural Center of Illinois on Saturday, May 28.
“The evening will include live music (Adar Penaber, Livia Gazzolo and Band, and Kamran), dancing, and a silent auction.”
Hannah Marijke Kim, a second-year MA student at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies said that the annual charity gala, first brought to life in 2016, has been able to raise over $5000 for Chicago-based organizations that support the Middle Eastern community in the city.
“Along those lines, our third gala was set to benefit the Kurdish Cultural Center of Illinois (KCCI) but was unfortunately interrupted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We are excited to reinstate the gala this year and to raise funds to help KCCI establish a permanent physical location in Skokie, IL. Our hope is to not only assist KCCI in their work building and supporting the Kurdish community in the Chicagoland area, but to foster connections between the University of Chicago and the broader Middle Eastern community in Chicago.”
According to Osman Cen (President of the KCCI), the Kurdish Cultural Center of Illinois was established in 2017 and aims to promote the Kurdish language and culture among the Kurdish diaspora in Illinois and beyond.
“It works with the other communities and institutions to generate an environment where diversity is valued and appreciated.”
Bahadin H Kerborani, a Ph.D. student at UChicago, told Kurdistan 24 that he personally wants “to thank the organizers of MESSA for their wonderful labor in planning this meaningful event that will benefit the Kurdish community in Chicago. I hope many people will attend the event and enjoy Kurdish food, live music, and surprise artistic items donated for the silent auction.”