Kirk Campbell founded Iqraa in 2008. He has completed 12 marathons, one ultra-marathon, and a half-ironman triathlon. “I like to run for the physical exercise and feeling of freedom. And I love to run for Iqraa because we and our umbrella charity group, the Marathon Charity Cooperation, bring together runners with the common aim of running for a good cause. That keeps me motivated.”

Mazen Badr plays indoor soccer year-round and in the summer trains with Iqraa. He has completed eight Marine Corps Marathon as an Iqraa runner. “I am inspired by how much value the money we raise does in terms of educating Palestinian children, by my son who is a professional athlete,  and by the great people of the Iqraa running team. Also, I am inspired by the fact that I am finally doing something I like for myself.”

Sarah Khasawinah

Sarah Khasawinah is a Ph.D. student in Mental Health at Johns Hopkins University.  2015 was her fifth  year running for Iqraa.  “I run for Palestine because the children of the Holy Land are barred, by walls of separation and politics of exclusion, from running for themselves. I proudly return year after year because I know that each mile represents a step towards a brighter future for a Palestinian child.”

Sam Amad

Sam Amad  is a second-generation Palestinian-American, born and raised in Washington, DC.  “I am running in support of education for Palestinian youth to help our generation improve their lives and the lives of all Palestinians in the future.

Sawson Bedas

SawsaBedas is a mother of two teenage boys and a teacher. “I know first hand how important education is in the life of children. Palestinian children have a hard time getting good education and a main reason is lack of resources. I am running with Iqraa to do my modest part in providing needed funds to educate more Palestinian kids. Please help me to exceed my goal with the fundraising for this cause.”

Cathy Baker ran her first half-marathon in Baltimore in 2010, with the training and group discipline provided by Iqraa. Since then she has completed six Marine Corps Marathons, a  marathon relay leg, eight half marathons, and the Boston Marathon. She gets great enjoyment, also, from the training runs with the other Marathon Charity Cooperation runners who have become friends. “I really appreciate how Iqraa enables me to do something for others and for myself at the same time.”

Jorge Guzman  got hooked on running around four years ago after he accompanied his 14-year-old daughter in a 5K school sponsored run. Iqraa’s summer training program allowed him to enter and complete successfully his first Marine Corps Marathon in 2011. The following year, he ran the Philadelphia marathon and finished with a Boston-qualifying time. He especially values the opportunity Iqraa provides to fund raise for a worthy cause. “I appreciate the importance of the coaching support I have received and the friends I have made through Iqraa.”

More runner descriptions to come–including yours!

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