OPEN Chicago Raises Awareness and Funds for Pakistan

The Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN Chicago) sponsored a fundraiser on Sunday to raise awareness and funds for the Pakistan flood relief. The non-profit organization aims to raise public awareness about the global disaster in Pakistan.

“We are aiming to raise public awareness around the issue,” Open Chicago Co-Founder Ruma Samdani said.

“ We want to keep this in the news which is why we have the celebrities, the political figures, the food, to draw attention to this and they feel strongly about what we’re doing and the platform that we are creating.”

The event also included an auction of prized items such as autographed items from Glee, Chicago Bulls tickets, artwork and more. All proceeds will be donated to those affected by the Pakistan flood.

The “Stars for Hope” event, which was held at Carnivale, included stars from Glee, Star Trek and the Daily Show. The star-studded event included a red carpet where the stars mingled and took pictures with supporters, donors, and sponsors.

On Glee, Principal Figgins faces the everyday issues of students. In real life, Iqbal Theba is raising awareness about his home country.

Theba’s college roommate is the co-founder of Karachi Relief Trust who partners with OPEN Chicago to provide assistance to Pakistan relief.

Theba hopes to let people know about Pakistan as a country and the people in it.

“There’s a lot of misperception about Pakistan,” Theba said. “People know about the bad news, but at the end of the day, Pakistans are human beings who want good for their families and their children and majority of us are good, down-to-earth people.”

Star Trek star Faran Tahir wants people to keep the awareness of Pakistan going so that the situation will not be forgotten about.

“If we can make it into a dinner table conversation, maybe people will get more involved,” Tahir said. “Keep the news alive of whats going on.”

Nadia Khan has family members who are working in Pakistan to help the flood victims. Khan’s family members who have been working with contractors and construction workers in Pakistan, reported that about $1200 can rebuild a home in Pakistan. Khan hopes that the Stars of Hope event will raise enough U.S. dollars that would convert to more rupees in Pakistan.

“With the community and the affluence of Chicago, we can do so much to help rebuild,” Khan said.