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Tamanna in Lebanon grants wishes for all

October 28, 2014

I usually post a blog after I produce a story to show a more personal side to the article. I didn’t have a chance to do that when I highlighted the work of Tamanna back in June of this year, but I wanted to bring some more attention their way. What they do really lifts the children who are on the receiving end of the organization.

Nanor Eleyjian from Aleppo, Syria, gets her wish to be a princess for a day in Sanayeh Garden.

Tamanna, which means “make a wish” in Arabic, is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to sick and terminally ill children. The organization was founded in 2005 in memory of Diala Fil’s 5-year-old son, Karim Rayess, who was killed in a tragic accident. Fil created the organization less than a year after his death. She saw it as a way to keep her son’s memory alive.

Indeed, it has.

They grant large and small-scale wishes, based on what the child wants. Once, they filmed a movie. Another wish involved Santa Clause dropping from the sky in the middle of summer at the Beirut Souks. I myself got to see two wishes – the first for Nanor Eleyjian, an Armenian Syrian girl suffering from leukemia who came here with her family from Aleppo to get medical care that they were unable to find in Syria. She wanted a laptop and to be a princess for a day. She got a princess party in the beautiful Sanayeh Gardens, and the incredibly shy 6-year-old was actually cracking a smile by the end. What it was obvious to see was not just what it did for Nanor, but for her family as well. The burden of a sick child was lifted for a couple of hours and replaced with laughter.

The second wish was for Hammoudi Zebawi, 9, to meet Spiderman. When Hammoudi came to the Beirut Souks with his parents, he was greeted by a huge crowd, a flash mob dancing to Pharrell William’s, “Happy,” and Superman and Spiderman-themed Mini-Coopers that had been designed specifically for the event. And most importantly, Spiderman himself (or an extreme athlete dressed up as one) dropping from a roof via a crane.

In a country that is becoming seemingly more sectarian by the day (just today, there was an incident that went viral of a Syrian Sukleen (a waste management company) worker being verbally and physically attacked and humiliated in broad daylight in Dikwaneh, Mount Lebanon), an organization helps children with no restrictions of sect or citizenship is a breath of fresh air.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Diana McClure permalink
    October 29, 2014 4:35 am

    Back in full swing – wonderful!! Diana

  2. Alesia permalink
    October 31, 2014 5:10 pm

    Nice article!


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