TSA heads Kosovo relief effort

The Turkish Student Association has joined forces with a handful of other student groups to help victims of human rights violations in Kosovo.

The student groups co-sponsored a lecture on human rights violations that have racked the Yugoslav province of Kosovo in recent months and organized an ongoing clothing drive to aid poverty-stricken families in the region.

The lecture, which was moderated by Constantine Menges, director of the Program on Transitions to Democracy, presented viewpoints of three speakers on the Kosovo crisis.

“This is definitely an issue that is worthwhile to address, so we decided to take action that would bring attention to this situation,” said Alia Chabuk, a TSA member who coordinated the panel discussion and clothing drive with TSA member Sechin Urey.

To spread awareness of the Balkan crisis and provide direct relief for struggling Kosovars, the Turkish, Muslim, Arab, Pakistani, Bulgarian and Serbian-American student associations, and the International Student Society placed collection boxes on campus for clothing and household items.

“Since it is winter and the situation is so bad in Kosovo, we decided to start (the clothing drive) sooner than we planned,” said TSA President Halim Tansug.

With the TSA office half filled with winter clothes, blankets and household goods, Tansug said he is pleased with the continuing generosity of students on campus.

“I am pleasantly surprised by the support we’ve received from the GW community, especially from volunteers and donations from nonaffiliated students just wanting to help out,” Chabuk said.

TSA will work with the Serbian-American Student Association to continue addressing issues of international significance in the future, Chabuk said.

The group will continue to take donations at on-campus sites, including the TSA office in Marvin Center 421, until Dec. 11. Monetary and clothing donations collected by the student group will be sent to the Albanian-Islamic Cultural Center in New York and will be sent to Kosovo before Christmas.

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