Professor Aziz Sancar was recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research and work in the mechanistic studies of DNA repair. However, the acclaimed biochemist also has another endeavor in mind: helping the Syrian refugee crisis in his homeland of Turkey.
“He is a very humble and hardworking man,” said Mr. Murat Kose, East Coast director of Zakat Foundation of America (ZF). Mr. Kose attended the award ceremony organized by Professor Sancar’s department at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). “He is very interested in doing for the refugees,” added Mr. Kose, “especially our recent project with Zahra University.”
Professor Aziz Sancar comes from a humble background. He was born in southeastern Turkey to a lower middle class family. Although his parents were illiterate, they greatly emphasized education through his upbringing.
Mr. Sancar’s deep interest to work with ZF is further complemented by U.S. political figures who were also attracted to ZF’s current relief projects. The ZF East Coast office met with North Carolina Congressman David Price (D-NC 4th District).
Mr. Kose discussed the Syrian and Rohingya refugee crises, whereas ZF colleagues brought up the rising tensions around Masjid Al-Aqsa and the occupations effect on the Palestinian Christian community. Another important matter of discussion was the rising incidents of Islamophobia across the nation.
Congressman Price stated he was aware of these issues and following the news closely to stay up to date. He expressed great interest in ZF’s work across the world, especially Zahra University and relief aid to the Rohingya. Before the end of the meeting, Congressman Price assured ZF would always be welcome in North Carolina and offered his help in anyway possible.
The ZF East Coast office is based out of Delaware and provides several social services locally as well as to impoverished communities in the neighboring states. In particular, the East Coast office has been celebrated for their volunteer service in tutoring and their outreach programs with food pantries.