UNC student Salma Rezk is the United Muslim Relief Triangle chapter president. This nonprofit organization focuses on building humanitarian coalitions to tackle developmental needs in the U.S. and other countries.
City Editor Kerry Lengyel spoke with Rezk about United Muslim Relief, her experience growing up Muslim and what she thinks needs to be done to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims.
The Daily Tar Heel: Tell me more about United Muslim Relief Triangle.
Salma Rezk: It’s a national organization, and there are different chapters run by students. The Triangle chapter is one of the first chapters, and it’s one of the biggest chapters as well. Some of the things (United Muslim Relief) does is health care programs, education, water, sanitation, dental work and dental relief.
They focus on sustainability, so long-term results instead of temporarily fixing something. They’re trying to build from the ground up, so these people can one day help themselves.
DTH: What prompted you to be a part of Triangle Relief?
SR: Growing up, my parents always encouraged me to do volunteering. I’ve always filled up my entire schedule and after school with clubs and service projects.
That’s just something I’m used to doing. United Muslim Relief was just one of those things I happened to be involved in when it first started.
It was very small, very little interest, and it’s grown so much since then. We have almost 7,500 likes on Facebook, and we have hundreds of people come to our events.