Roads for Life organized its third gala dinner
10 November 2015
Zeina Kassem: Abou Faour is about to turn his circular into a binding decision whereby hospitals have to enroll their ER physicians and nursing staff in rescue training programs
Roads for Life will offer individual waist-adjustable first aid kits to LAF soldiers
On Tuesday November 10, Roads for Life – The Talal Kassem Fund for Post-Accident Care – organized its third fundraising gala dinner at the InterContinental Phoenicia Hotel. During this dinner, Roads for Life (RFL) President Zeina Kassem announced that Health Minister Wael Abu Faour is about to turn his earlier circular into a binding decision whereby all Lebanese hospitals have to enroll their ER physicians and nursing staff in the rescue programs financed by the association in order to provide assistance to trauma victims. Furthermore, RFL intends, in cooperation with the Spanish Embassy in Lebanon, to offer to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) a waist-adjustable first aid kit to be carried by each soldier.
Several political, economic, social, art and media figures attended the dinner, including Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, MPs Marwan Hamadeh and Nayla Mouawad, Mrs. Lama Tammam Salam, former Ministers Adnan Kassar, Maurice Sahnawi, Ziad Baroud, Layla al-Solh Hamadeh and Walid al-Daouk, in addition to several ambassadors.
Kassem welcomed the participants in the evening and reminded that Roads for Life was established about five years ago when her son Talal was killed by a reckless speeding driver. “It has since transformed into a beacon of hope, a daily rescue mission, and a strong drive to spread the culture of law, life, and rescue instead of the culture of chaos and negligence. The new traffic law had been lying in the drawers of Parliament for nine years, as it was not viewed as a priority. We knocked on many doors and thanks to the help of several politicians, we managed to have this law adopted and we are still following up on its implementation.”
Roads for Life “has provided world-class rescue programs in order to save the lives of many people who would have otherwise been mourned by their families, friends, and country due to the lack of swift and appropriate care.”
Moreover, “we have worked with the Ministry of Health, which issued circular no. 51, a landmark document calling upon all Lebanese hospitals to enroll their ER physicians and nursing staff in the programs financed by RFL within the framework of assessing the readiness and efficiency of emergency rooms in Lebanese hospitals.” Kassem revealed that H.E. Health Minister Wael Abu Faour “is about to turn this circular into a binding decision in all hospitals across Lebanon.”
Having expressed pride in all these achievements, Kassem said that RFL is “immensely proud of being at the service of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and its heroic personnel… and of offering each LAF soldier a Spanish-made first-aid kit with an adjustable waistband, in cooperation with the Spanish Embassy in Lebanon and on the initiative of H.E. Milagros Hernando Echevarría, Spanish ambassador to Lebanon. Our courageous army is fighting on the frontlines in order to defend the borders and the very existence of our country. The least we can do in support of our army is to offer this small – and yet highly efficient – kit in order to stop a hemorrhage when one is wounded or shot and to allow our military to keep on saving the nation.”
Kassem explained that the association has “already secured the approval of the LAF Command and the Spanish government through the Spanish Embassy in Lebanon to carry out this project. We shall not rest before this kit is carried around by each LAF soldier as a modest gift offered by Talal on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of his crossing and in cooperation with the various benefactors in this country.”
Over the past five years, she emphasized, Roads for Life has proven that “our tears can turn into a spark and that despair would turn into hope.” Kassem thanked RFL’s friends and family “without whom the long tunnel of this journey would have been longer and darker still, as well as the many donors have made theirs this cause, which is of major importance for all the Lebanese. We mention, among others, Bank Audi, which covers the cost of the ATCN training program for nursing staff; the BLC Bank, which is part of the Fransabank group and which covers the costs of the PHTLS program for EMS teams; and Fransabank, which has been financing the ATLS training program for ER physicians all over Lebanon.”
In conclusion, she said, “over a period of five years, we are smiling once again with each victim saved. We identify with each mother who is smiling again, each father who is no longer worrying about his child.”
Art interludes and auction sale
The dinner was punctuated by musical interludes by composer and violinist Habib Alberto, comedy performances by artist Sami Khayyat, an auction sale on several valuable items, including a watch previously owned by world star George Clooney, and a drawing of tombola tickets.
In a touching gesture during the dinner, Professor Nadi Hakim offered Mrs. Kassem a bust representing her late son Talal. The evening was hosted by media figure Nadia Bsat who hailed the efforts made by Roads for Life and highlighted their importance.