MSA hosts a bake sale fundraiser for hospitals in Egypt


Credit: Annabelle Zhang

Mariam Gayed (left), Hedaia Elelimy (middle) and Noreen Javed (right) hand out containers of pre-ordered desserts. “The Muslim Student Association (MSA) is fundraising through bake sales with traditional pastries from our cultures,” Javed said.

Annabelle Zhang

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) held a bake sale fundraiser on Jan. 19 for the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation. The aim of the foundation is to build a free hospital in Egypt that provides medical care to everyone, especially children, affected by cardiovascular diseases.

Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub is the founder of the organization, that built a separate free hospital in 2009, named the Aswan Heart Center. Since Aswan is located in the southern side of Egypt, the hospital is not easily accessible to people living in the northern half. Therefore, Yacoub began the construction of a second hospital to provide free, nationwide medical care.

“Usually people would be donating to the patients and the [Aswan Heart Center], but Magdi Yacoub is currently building a second free hospital in Cairo, Egypt,” MSA student leader Hedaia Elelimy said. “That is what we are fundraising for.”

As a young surgeon, Yacoub met children and families that traveled long distances to receive care in Aswan. Because of his experiences, he believed that free, comprehensive healthcare should be accessible to all, including the most vulnerable of people. Years later, he’s bringing his dream into a reality.

“All of us believe in [Yacoub’s] goal to provide free care where people need it and to give cardiovascular and medical care to everyone who can’t afford it,” MSA student leader Noreen Javed said. “We think it is very important to help that cause.”

Since it was the MSA’s first fundraiser, the members of the club wanted to incorporate parts of the club’s identity into the fundraising process. In the end, they settled on a bake sale with a slight twist that differentiated itself from similar charity events.

“We sold boxes of sweets from our traditions to share some of our culture while also raising money for the foundation,” Javed said.

The Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani and Middle-Eastern desserts that were available for purchase included basbousa, gulab jamun, baklava, cashew katli and knafeh. The options were available for pre-order, and buyers could pick which sweets they wanted to try. Some of the desserts were homemade while others were store-bought.

“Some members of the MSA volunteered to make the desserts, like the knafeh, because they have family recipes and want to share it,” MSA member Mariam Gayed said. “Others were purchased from stores, but I can assure you that all of them taste delicious.”

The treats were distributed after school with the option to donate more through a donation box. The bake sale successfully raised over $400 for the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation.

“[Yacoub’s cause] stands out to us as something important that we would want to contribute to,” Javed said. “We became more encouraged to support this organization, and we believe that you should too.”