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SWFL restaurants fundraising to help Beirut explosion victims

Posted at 7:32 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 19:32:40-04

NAPLES, Fla. — Two Southwest Florida restaurants are coming together to help those affected by the blast in Beirut, Lebanon.

It's been nearly a week since the deadly explosion that killed at least 160 people and left thousands of others injured.

"It's very, very sad, it touched my heart, it's such a beautiful country, beautiful food, beautiful cultural," said Chef Rachid Eido, Owner of Kareem's Lebanese Kitchen in Naples.

For Beirut native, Chef Eido, the work to help those affected is just getting started.

"We are hurting from inside, so that's why we are putting all this together," said Chef Eido

To help support relief efforts, Kareem's Lebanese Kitchen and 21 Spices by Chef Asif joined forces with the Great Hope Foundation to start a fundraising program.

The Great Hope Foundation is a global non-profit committed to providing children in need with access to the tools vital to breaking the cycle of poverty.

"As a chef, I was not able to sleep that whole night thinking what we can do for those people who are in need," said Chef Asif Syed, Owner of 21 Spices by Chef Asif in Naples.

From August 15 to August 21, each restaurant will donate 25% of its revenue from dine-in and take-out sales to help those affected by the explosion.

A special three-Course to-go box from both restaurants will also be available with proceeds benefiting the cause.

"I think nothing is more important than being a human being and looking at what's happening in the world the right now," said Chef Asif.

Both Chef Eido and Chef Asif say helping is part of who they are, and hope to bring both communities together by using the universal language of food.

"That's what we need to show them, we need to show Lebanon we are beside you guys, don't worry," said Chef Eido.

The fundraiser also includes an online raffle, and auction available on the non-profit's website — other local businesses like Crave Culinaire, Athleta, Downtown Coffee, and Wine Bar and have donated raffle and auction prizes.

"I think we all need to come together and be united," said Chef Asif.

To learn more about how you can help, click here.