SOURCE: Zakat Foundation of America

Zakat Foundation of America

July 02, 2015 15:15 ET

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Visits Zakat Foundation School

Ambassador Applauds ZF's Efforts to Serve Syrian Refugee Children

GAZIANTEP, TURKEY--(Marketwired - Jul 2, 2015) -  On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Mr. John R. Bass, visited a school sponsored by Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) for Syrian refugee children in the southeastern city of Gaziantep. At the occasion, Mr. Bass highly commended ZF's efforts in the region for supporting Syrians "at a time when the need is so great."

Mr. Bass and his wife, Mrs. Holly Holzer Bass, were warmly welcomed by the students and staff of the school along with ZF Executive Director, Mr. Halil Demir, and his wife and ZF Medical Programs Advisor, Mrs. Donna Neil-Demir, both of whom flew in from Chicago, IL for the visit.

The U.S. ambassador acknowledged and emphasized the need for such efforts in the region, stating, "We want to thank Zakat Foundation and American-Muslims who help support Syrians in need at a time when need is so great. And there will always be more which needs to be done and resources to be given. But the generosity and spirit you show is remarkable. And to see the result in the classroom is truly inspiring. Shukran jazilan. Tebrikler. Cok tesekkurler."

Mr. Mark S. Ward, Director of the Syrian Transition Assistance and Response Team (START), and Mr. John L. Espinoza, U. S. Consul General to Adana, also joined this tour of the ZF-sponsored school. Mr. Ward remarked, "While all that ZF has done has been without asking anything from the American government, this is an act of the entrepreneurship of philanthropy at its best. It is outstanding."

In the spirit of empowering the youth whose lives have been torn apart by war, ZF sponsors the education of internally displaced children within Syria as well as Syrian refugee children in an effort that encompasses 10 schools and 5,800 students.

Founded in 2001, Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) helps generous and caring people reach out to those in need. ZF's mission is to address immediate needs and ensure the self-reliance of the poorest people around the world. The nonprofit organization conducts humanitarian assistance programs in around 40 countries. For more information, please visit