This weekend, more than 50,000 runners will hit the streets of New York for the annual NYC Marathon. Among them will be George Zeidan, a Palestinian Christian refugee and Fulbright scholar who is running to raise awareness and funds to support UNRWA’s (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) work in the Middle East.

This cause is personal to George. He was born in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, where his mother is still a UNRWA employee. After graduating from college in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, George returned to Bethlehem and co-founded the first Right to Movement Palestine Marathon in 2013, the only marathon in the world that requires runners to complete four laps on the same 10-kilometer path due to lack of space and movement restrictions. He is now living in Los Angeles and pursuing a master’s degree at USC thanks to his Fulbright fellowship.

Following the US administration’s decision to completely de-fund UNRWA in August 2018, George capitalized on his love for running to raise awareness and funds to the Agency that has so deeply impacted the lives of people in his family and his broader Palestinian community.

Running and advocating for Palestinian rights are my greatest passions. As one of the co-founders of the Right to Movement marathon in Bethlehem, the occupied West Bank, I’ve seen how running can create a movement of global proportions. So, while in the US, I want to follow in this tradition and use this race [NYC Marathon] as a way to make an impact in the lives of 5+ million refugees.
— George Zeidan, co-founder of Right to Movement + fundraiser for UNRWA USA

UNRWA was established in 1949 and provides food, healthcare, and education to more than 5 million refugees across the Middle East. But now these vital services are in jeopardy following the funding cut.

Support George as he runs 26.2 miles for Palestine refugees and help fill this funding gap. If you’re in NYC this weekend for the race (Sunday, November 4), you can cheer George on in person, or you can contribute a donation to his fundraising page and share words of support!

Interested in supporting UNRWA USA’s work? You can but certainly don’t have to run a marathon to do so. Set up a fundraising page and help fund UNRWA and show your solidarity with Palestine refugees.