Fundraiser for Syrian protesters set for Sunday

A relative of Syrian PresidentBashar al-Assad, who has been an outspoken critic of the regime’s brutal crackdown on protesters, is scheduled to speak this weekend in Irvine.

Majd Jadaan, the sister-in-law of al-Assad’s brother, Maher al-Assad, left the country before the uprising began March 15, said Rashad Al-Dabbagh, communication director of the Syrian American Council (SAC).

Jadaan will address participants during a fundraising event to support the victims of al-Assad’s attacks. The fundraising event is from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road.

The protests are part of the ongoing Arab Spring, a freedom-seeking movement that began in Tunisia and spread throughout Arab and North African countries, including Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Since the beginning of the uprising in Syria, 6,000 people have been reportedly killed by the regime, thousands have been injured and thousands others are missing, Al-Dabbagh said.

The fundraising event is held in collaboration with the Syria Sunrise Foundation, which works with humanitarian organizations with connections to Syria.

The event will also feature an online appearance by Abdul Basit Saroot, former goalkeeper of the Syrian national soccer team, whose title was stripped from him after joining the protests in Syria, Al-Dabbagh said. He will join in from Syria via Skype.

Al-Dabbagh said people should care about what’s happening in Syria because Syrians are fighting for basic human rights: dignity, justice and freedom.

For more information on Sunday’s fundraising event, call (951) 444-8344.

Twitter: @MonaShadia