The tragic story of a Syrian postgraduate student who lost seven members of his family in the Syrian Conflict, has inspired his University of Bath colleagues to run the Cardiff Half Marathon, on Sunday 14 October, in aid of a relief charity working to help other victims.
Zaher Shehab, 29, who is studying for a PhD in pharmacy, lost his mother, brother and five other relatives when rocket fire hit his family farm in the Damascus suburb of Darayya.
Friends and colleagues at the University who want to support Zaher are now raising funds for Hand in Hand for Syria, a UK based charity that provides medical and humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees and those still trapped in the violence. They have already raised nearly £2,500.
Chris Roche, a postgraduate student in the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, is a close friend of Zaher and initiated the fundraiser. He said: “In the wake of such an unfathomable tragedy, colleagues in Zaher’s department wanted to show their solidarity to a friend as well as to all those suffering as a consequence of the unfolding humanitarian disaster.
“Hand in Hand for Syria does fantastic work but it’s a small charity and desperately needs support to continue and expand its efforts.
“What started off as just two of us training for the half marathon has grown to an international team of ten, with members from the UK, Ireland, Malaysia, Syria, Switzerland and New Zealand.
“This is now an opportunity for the staff and students at the University and the wider community to sponsor the team and show their love and support to a friend and colleague, and to show solidarity with those still suffering as a result of the ongoing events.”
Zaher is appreciative of everyone’s efforts to help him since the tragedy. He said: “I am proud to be at the University of Bath due to the kindness and support I’ve had from supervisors, academics, staff and colleagues.”
To sponsor the half marathon team please visit Just Giving