On August 2nd, 2022, the Charity Donation and Bitarchitects teams had the honor of hosting two esteemed guests: Mr. Charles Sills, retired Naval Intelligence Officer and current Board Member for the Eurasia Center, as well as Mr. Joe Sauma, Lebanese-American Chief Financial Advisor at IAS Corp. and Marketing Strategist Advisor at Charity Donation. 

The meeting consisted of several fascinating presentations given by many young and confident team members. Beginning with a survey of Lebanon, several speakers discussed Lebanese culture, cuisine, and traditions. “Beyonce is a huge fan of Fairuz,” mentioned Farah Kerbaj jokingly, referring to a 2013 interview with the Artist.

“Lebanese people are very resilient,” mentioned Alice Abou Chacra, whilst explaining a timeline of the recent crises that Lebanon has suffered through. Regardless of the traumatic events that have unfolded recently, the speakers unanimously shared a message of hope and strength.

Other presentations discussed the background, history, and missions of both Charity Donation and Bitarchitects. Young presenters Samer Abdulbaki and Tamara Ramadan explained how Charity Donation aims to remove negative stereotypes regarding Lebanese people and culture, creating a sense of unity amongst all participants, irregarding their background and ethnicity. 

Similarly, Hadil Hilal and Raleen El Baitam, members of the Bitarchitects team expressed their organization’s aim to bridge the gap between Lebanese talents and foreign professionals, effectively allowing young hopefuls to prosper while reaching their goals. 

The meeting concluded with a set of questions given to both speakers regarding their careers and their road to success. Mr. Sauma highlighted the role his Lebanese background played in his climb to triumph. As a person who moved to the U.S at a very young age, Mr. Sauma’s mastery of several languages due to his Lebanese upbringing, paired with the kindness and determination passed onto him from his ancestors, made him a force to be reckoned with.

Moreover, Mr. Sills engaged in a heartfelt discussion regarding Arab-American relations, utilizing his experience as a member of the National Council on US-Arab Relations (NCUSAR)’s International Advisory Committee. Presenting a new, unique perspective, Mr. Sills shared his story of triumph with the participants, detailing his partaking in various industrial and environmental initiatives, such as his participation in the protection of Ozone layer initiative. 

We extend our thanks to Mr. Sills and Mr. Sauma, whose presence enlightened all speakers and participants. Their hard work, ambition, and charitability, is an inspiration to all.

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