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Press Release

The International Rescue Committee to honor the work of the Syrian American Medical Society with the Freedom Award at 2022 Global Virtual Event, called Hope Behind the Headlines

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The International Rescue Committee today announced the Syrian American Medical Society as the recipient of the IRC Freedom Award, presented at the IRC’s 2022 Global Virtual Event. The IRC’s Freedom Award is awarded annually to individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in support of the global refugee crisis and saving and improving the lives of the most vulnerable populations around the world.

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) is a global medical relief organization that operates on the front lines of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, while also working in neighboring countries and beyond, to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and revitalize health systems. SAMS strives to serve those in need through provision of medical services and treatment, regardless of background or religious affiliations. SAMS has established field hospitals, ICUs, primary clinics, birthcare facilities, medical education and training facilities, and mental health and psychosocial support programs, among other areas of programming. 

The theme of this year’s Global Virtual Event is “Hope Behind the Headlines”, celebrating the refugee clients that IRC serves, and the dedicated staff, volunteers, and supporters who make the life-changing work of the IRC possible. This year’s event will remind the world that when headlines and attention begin to fade away from the immediate outbreak of a crisis, the humanitarian need remains, and long-term aid in the form of education, job training, resettlement, and more are needed long after the headlines are gone.The event will feature performances from Yola and the Pihcintu Multicultural Girls Chorus, as well as appearances from Rami Malek, Yo-Yo Ma, Lucas Englander, Faouzia, Ebony Obsidian, and a special voiceover by Mandy Patinkin. 

David Miliband, President & CEO of the IRC, said: “The International Rescue Committee is thrilled to present the 2022 Freedom Award to the Syrian American Medical Society, a partner the IRC is proud to work with in the Syria region and whose work has been invaluable in saving thousands of lives, while risking their own, over the past 11 years of war. Against the backdrop of a devastating global pandemic, SAMS has also worked tirelessly to strengthen Syria’s healthcare system to serve this and future generations. SAMS is a true messenger of hope behind the headlines - and a truly deserving recipient of this year’s Freedom Award.” 

  • The Global Virtual Event will be held on Wednesday, June 29th, 2022 at 12:30 PM EDT.
  • Participants can register for the event at register.rescue.org/globalvirtualevent and can watch the event online at globalvirtualevent.rescue.org
  • The event will be translated into multiple languages—including Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish and Swedish—and will also be accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities.
About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.