The Friends of the Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF) held their 22nd annual benefit gala on Oct. 23 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC. The proceeds from this year’s gala were allocated to RMF’s vocational school, which provides alternative education as well as healthcare services to the needy. Master of ceremonies, former Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV), briefly described RMF’s work, which focuses on human, social and economic development in Lebanon.
Nayla Moawad, the country’s former first lady and founder of the Rene Moawad Foundation, named after the former president who was assassinated Nov. 22, 1989, after only 17 days in office, described the difficult period that Lebanon is currently undergoing. With the burden of two million Syrian refugees at a cost of over $7 billion up until now, Lebanon’s internal social balance is threatened. “This sudden overpopulation is affecting every imaginable sector: the economy, health, education, safety and infrastructure,” she said.