For Zeynep Ozturk, a Darwin PhD student in Genetics, February’s catastrophic earthquake in Turkey and Syria was not the kind of news she could scroll past.

“I am from the affected region in Turkey,” she explains. “My brother lives in one of the epicentres. I am lucky that they are alive and safe, but many lives have been lost and the effect was quite dramatic.”

In collaboration with a group of friends from across the University, including a Syrian student, Faraj, with experience in commercial catering, Zeynep took over the Darwin kitchens and dining hall on Saturday to host a dinner in support of the emergency relief fund.

“We were so touched by the help of the Darwin kitchens. All the staff were so friendly and helpful. Mindi, one of the kitchen porters, helped us with all the dishes and stayed with us until almost 11pm. We also had help with ingredients from the local Cambridge shops: Arjuna Brothers, Al-Amin, Spice Gate and Cambridge market.”

The students served dinner to 70 attendees and raised £2,600 in donations to support those affected by the earthquake in both Turkey and Syria.

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