Doctors Without Borders hosts night for Lebanon

Peter Boetgger | Layout/Multimedia Editor | The Lebanon Night menu included falafel, hummus and knafeh, a type of dough dipped in sweet syrup.

Max Marcello | Staff Writer

Feb. 16, 2023

Members of Duquesne’s Doctors Without Borders are not able to practice medicine yet, but they are still able to help others with community service and raising money.

In support of this mission, the club held an event to raise awareness about the group’s ongoing efforts to fundraise for Lebanon on Monday.

Humanitarianism sometimes finds itself in the grips of red tape. It was this environment that drove French activists to coalesce in 1971 to form Doctors Without Borders.

Also referred to as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Doctors Without Borders is a non-profit, international charity organization that provides medical care to neglected or impoverished areas.

As the organization grew, MSF began creating local chapters at academic institutions to provide volunteer opportunities and humanitarian outreach experience to future healthcare professionals.

At Duquesne’s MSF event, the chapter gave students an opportunity to experience Lebanese culture and cuisine.

The event held in the NiteSpot was attended by over a dozen students who immersed themselves in the Lebanese festivities.

Foods such as baklava, falafel and hummus with pita chips were prepared by Parkhurst Lebanese chef, Nathaniel Kassouf.

Students also had the opportunity to enter a raffle for the chance to win a bouquet of cyclamen, the national flower of Lebanon for Valentine’s Day.

Yasmine Alrefai, a health sciences major of Lebanese descent and member of the chapter, said she found the event to be a great opportunity for students to socialize and experience Lebanese culture. As a medical student, Doctors Without Borders has given her the chance to combine her passion for service with her interest in medicine.

“Our meetings are about service and things that are going on around the world and how first responders and medical providers are helping or impacting those other countries,” Alrefai said.

​Mirabella Strump, a graduate student in biology, has been involved with Doctors Without Borders since her freshman year. She now serves as the chapter’s president.

In years past, the chapter’s activities focused on informational lectures and networking. Today, the chapter is far more involved with community activism, Strump said.

Some of the organization’s past initiatives include preparing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Light of Life and making care packages for the Ronald McDonald House.

Strump noted that Duquesne’s MSF chapter hsd interesting limits and opportunities that come with being a student organization with a desire to make a positive impact on the community.

Additionally, the chapter is also preparing for its twice annual blood drive scheduled for April.

Doctors Without Borders seeks to facilitate student’s medical education with a humanitarian focus.

Duquesne’s chapter is preparing for a Doctor’s Without Borders guest speaker who is set to address the chapter at the end of March.

Sophomore Jaelyn Walker has been involved since her freshman year, and she now serves as the chapter’s secretary. Her desire to pursue a career in medicine led her to Doctors Without Borders.

“I think, in order to understand medicine, it’s really important to understand global medicine and Doctors Without Borders is perfect for that,” Walker said.

Walker took a prominent role in organizing Monday night’s event for Lebanon. The event fulfilled both the organization’s role as educator and in volunteer outreach.

“This is kind of our cause connection event, just so our members can get immersed in the culture a little bit, learn a little bit about the Lebanese culture and where our money is going,” Walker said.