TouroCOM Hosts Second Semi-Annual Tastes of the World Event
Raises Money for Rohingya Muslims
As a child in multicultural Queens, TouroCOM student Sarah Aly was used to eating foreign foods.
"We ate whatever dishes the parents of our friends made," said Aly, the president of TouroCOM’s International Medicine Society. “Food is an easy way to experience someone else’s culture. It opens the door to conversation and it’s a great way to get to know people."
When she began DO school at TouroCOM, she brought the idea with her and last year held the first Tastes of the World event, a fundraiser where TouroCOM students made dishes inspired by their heritage. Proceeds from last year’s event were donated to a charity in Venezuela. This year’s event, held on Nov. 16, attracted almost 100 students and faculty members
"At Touro we have such a diverse student body along with being in the most diverse city in the world," explained Aly.
There were more than 24 different dishes from all over the world including: macarona beschamel from Egypt, penang curry from Thailand, and Chickpea tofu salad from Myanmar. (For the less brave eaters, there were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.) The event raised more than $800, which will be donated to aid Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled persecution in Myanmar. Students also held a bone marrow registry and a clothing drive.
Both last year’s event and this year’s event were co-hosted by several other TouroCOM Harlem student groups, including The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, Student Association of American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, Student National Medical Association, Latino Medical Students Association.
“It was an opportunity to share our culture with other members of the student body and faculty,” said Justin Chin, president of TouroCOM’s Asian Pacific American Medical School Association. “All of us are aspiring medical professionals and we’re going to be working with many different cultures. Being able to experience other cultures through their food is a fun way to connect.”
Austin Ardalan, president of TouroCOM’s Family Medicine club, said that the charity work was part of the school’s mission.
“The main reason we’re going to medical school is to help people,” Ardalan said. “The sooner we can help—in any capacity, like raising money for those in need—the better.”