BEIRUT, Lebanon (KSEE) – This week a medical mission from Fresno is in Beirut, Lebanon serving people in need in a country with severe economic challenges.  

The 24-member Medical Mission team from Fresno is hard at work providing free care to people of all ethnicities and faiths in Beirut.

The mission clinic at the Armenian Relief Cross of Lebanon is like a one-stop shop. There are internal medicine specialists, pediatricians, dental specialists, and even a urologist is available for a free visit or even a consultation.

For Dr. Varoujan Altebarmakian of Fresno, the visit is emotional. He grew up in Beirut and went to school here.

“Seeing all these people where I was part of the community that I lived in during my youth, so it was first emotional and then it was exciting that I was taking part in providing care to the people that are in need,” says Dr. Altebarmakian, who is part of the medical mission team.

The mission team is led by Fresno’s Honorary Consul to Armenia. He says their two-week stay helps the people of Beirut who are greatly struggling.

“Giving them hope, telling them that they are not alone and we’re going to carry the challenge with them, lift their spirit and spread the spirit of the United States in this region as well,” says  Berj Apkarian, Fresno’s Honorary Consul to Armenia.

Among the highlights planned for later this week is the delivery of aid to earthquake survivors at the Syrian border.