Ghassan Hajjar is running a marathon dubbed "the toughest footrace on Earth" by the Discovery Channel in an effort to raise more than $50,000 for Lebanese children who've suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Together with AFEL (The Lebanese Child Home Association) – a children’s welfare NGO, Hajjar hopes to save the lives of at least ten abused children with the money he raises. AFEL’s beneficiaries are children who have been exposed to abusive environments, be it at home or elsewhere. Ninety-five percent of the children AFEL works with live with abusive parents. Twenty percent are left to fend for themselves and to take care for their younger siblings. Forty percent have severe learning difficulties and 60 percent suffer from some sort of mental disability.

The race Hajjar will be participating in is called the Marathon Des Sables (MdS), or Marathon of the Sands. The race kicked off on April 5 with over 1,000 competitors in the Sahara Desert. This year, Hajjar is the only Lebanese participant in MdS.

With temperatures reaching as high as 50 degrees Celsius, participants hardly ever feel the sweat on their faces since it doesn’t take long for it to evaporate from the heat. The six-day ordeal is a multi-stage race that tests your physical and mental abilities, runners are expected to be completely self-sufficient throughout the entire race; they have to carry their own food (15,000 calories worth of freeze-dried food for the seven days,) a sleeping blanket, and various safety supplies, provided only with water and a tent at night. Those who are able to finish the race come out having completed the equivalent of six marathons in six days.

The challenges the Marathon Des Sables presents make it easy to give up, but Hajjar’s perseverance is fueled by the possibility of improving the lives of the children he will be helping. If Hajjar can do this, could you spare some money to help support him?

To donate to Ghassan’s cause, visit his fundraising page on


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Cool stuff! Hey did you know that a Lebanese woman is doing the Gobi desert challenge? The guy who trained and equipped both of them is doing an even tougher challenge: 500K in 9 days in Australia next month!

Georges H. Rabbath on Apr 8, 2015 via mobile web
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Cool stuff! Did you know that another athlete, a Lebanese woman

Georges H. Rabbath on Apr 8, 2015 via mobile web