BENEFITING: Free To Run Inc.
As many of you know, two of my passions include human rights issues and running. As the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, I grew up with their stories of life in a poor, war-torn country. However, it was not until my junior year abroad in 2003 that I became truly aware of all the benefits that my U.S. citizenship carries. This was all part of the experience in studying abroad and through it, I gained a new perspective of the world. I became passionate about human rights and have focused my education and career on pursuing national security and human rights matters.
I took up running as a coping mechanism after my close friend committed suicide in 2008. I had never run more than a 5k before and following that tragedy, decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon that year.Running has become my meditation and when I feel God the most, in the sights I see, sounds I hear, the pounding of my heart. Whenever I am stressed or need to think, I lace up my kicks and go for a run.
In the past year, I've fallen in love with an organization called Free to Run (freetorun.org). Free to Run’s mission is to use running, physical fitness and outdoor adventure to empower and educate women and girls who have been affected by conflict. The organization supports those living within conflict areas, as well as those who have been forced to flee and live as refugees outside of their home countries. They provide avenues for girls to run in Afghanistan and Iran and opportunities to ski , play volleyball and other activities in locations where it would otherwise be impossible. This year, a group from Free to Run will run in the 2nd ever Marathon of Afghanistan! How awesome is that?!? It's not just sports. It's a chance for these girls to experience a full and free life.
After following the group for some time, I've decided to support Free to Run by fundraising on their behalf. I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon again this month, my 9th marathon, on behalf of Free to Run. I don't have to raise funds or have a time limit to do so, I just feel so strongly about this cause. I will be keeping this page up and will be running all future distance races on their behalf, so please consider donating to this worthy cause.