Local runner raising money for refugees by competing in Boston Marathon

Posted at 4:53 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 09:30:50-05

Rahaf Khatib is Women's Running magazine's first hijab-wearing cover girl.

Now the Farmington Hills runner is in another magazine hoping to raise money for a great cause. She plans to raise thousands of dollars by running in the Boston Marathon.

"It is the oldest, most prestigious marathon out there," she said.

Rahaf is very excited to achieve, what she calls, every runners dream: completing the Boston Marathon.

You may remember Rahaf when we did a story about her in October, after she became the first hijab-wearing model on Women's Running magazine.

Now, Shape Magazine interviewed her as she prepares for the Boston Marathon.

That's because she is being sponsored to be part of an all female team, while raising money for Syrian refugees in Michigan.

"I got this bib for free, I want to earn my spot at Boston, so what am I going to do? And I've been wanting to do something for refugees here for a very long time."

Rahaf was born in Syria and immigrated here as a young child.

She said, "Really meaningful for me and I feel like running and humanitarian causes go hand in hand."

"Great way to raise awareness. What a great way to shed light on the plight on these refugees," said Reem Akkad of the Syrian-American Rescue Network

Rahaf's original goal was to raise $5,000. After surpassing that she's increased it to $6,500.

"I'm hoping I will get closer to $10,000 so we will see," she hopes.

Transportation and a language barrier are the two biggest issues Syrian families face once they arrive here.

The organization helps them get on their feet.

Reem explained, "While they are waiting to be able to get a job, get a vehicle and start providing for their families."

"Raising money for refugees will really bring out the spirit of the marathon," Rahaf added.

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