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Resala – Books, Buildings, and HealthCare for Needy Children

To help people in need “not because they need us but because we need them to revive our humanitarian feelings”: this is the guiding principle of Resala, a tremendous charity organization with more than 60 branches across Egypt and over 200,000 volunteers.

Along with providing aid and training for the deaf, blind, impoverished and underprivileged, the group focuses on the welfare of children, whether on the streets, orphaned, or otherwise vulnerable. For Eid al-Adha, it distributes clothes and toys for poor children in Cairo and Alexandria, where it also runs regular blood drives to provide for children with anemia.

It also supports education through school-building campaigns. In September, the group mustered convoys of school supplies to Ayat Village, which succeeded in distributing 300 schools bags to as many students. A concert for children was held in conjunction with the convoys, to celebrate the start of the new school year.

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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