The Essam and Dalal Obaid Foundation (EDOF) recently announced that it is partnering with a new start-up company, Freezmate, to provide heated mattresses to refugees from the Syrian Civil War. The Syrian crisis has left over 3 million refugees in neighboring countries and over 6 million displaced people inside Syria itself. The partnership will make it possible for Freezmate to send its heated mattresses to the refugees so they can weather the hardships of winter.
“Syria is one of the foremost humanitarian crises of our age,” says Tarek Obaid, EDOF’s founder & President. “EDOF has been looking for a way to get directly involved, so when we found Freezmate, it seemed like a perfect opportunity.”
“Millions of people will be facing freezing conditions in the refugee camps in the coming winter. We not only hope these mattresses will help them keep warm, but that providing them will bring more global attention to the difficulties these people face.”
Freezmate was founded by Tarek Al Emam in October 2015. After graduating from the Lebanese American University with a degree in Finance and Banking, he took various jobs in the field and eventually became the MENA Regional Head of Premium Products for American Express in the UAE. He gave it all up, however, to found Freezmate, because, as he says, “I wanted to help change peoples’ lives for the better.”
The development process for the mattresses has been a personal journey for Mr. Al Emam. “I undertook at least 20 experiments. I brought my equipment from all over the world and bought the materials myself. They are far superior to those available in the market.”
Freezmate mattresses are designed to be heated in microwaves, but as Mr. Al Emam points out, “There are no microwaves in the refugee camps. Therefore, the mattresses will come with instructions on how to heat them in boiling water. Once that is done, they will provide warmth for several hours.” Freezmate is also developing solar ovens that will make heating the mattresses even easier.
Working with Freezmate is right in line with EDOF’s other funding endeavors. It has partnered with the CNN Freedom Project to combat human trafficking and Tarek Obaid founded the Essam and Dalal Obaid Center for Reconstructive Surgery at Mayo Clinic. However, this will not be the first time that EDOF has offered assistance in the Middle East. It has provided support to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for its efforts to train and staff hospitals in Lebanon that treat war wounds.
“We founded EDOF in order to partner with individuals and companies who are already doing excellent work in their field but who could also benefit from our assistance,” says Tarek Obaid. “Mr. Al Emam and his Freezmate project are truly dedicated to offering humanitarian aid where it is needed most. We are very excited to help them realize their mission.”
More about EDOF can be found at its website: http://edof.org.