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ALO Cultural Foundation
*A 501(c)(3) Charity


SINCE 1997, the ALO Cultural Foundation, a US-based, not-for-profit entity, has championed a full menu of humanitarian endeavors, including international relations initiatives that support and develop cultural exchange programs for women and youth. The foundation is guided by Wafa Kanan, owner of Unique Image Inc. and publisher of ALO Hayati magazine, a printed publication that bridges the cultural gap between Middle Eastern communities and Western mindsets.

With assistance from the board of directors, the primary goals and missions of the ALO Cultural Foundation are to Educate, Empower and Enlighten people of Middle Eastern, North African and Mediterranean descent.

ALO Cultural Foundation Programs

The ALO Cultural Foundation promotes international exchange by developing and supporting cultural arts, humanitarian relief and aid, environmental and economic exchange programs between the Americas and the 25 plus countries in their target regions.

The ALO Cultural Foundation will support live and documented cultural programming, diverse delegations to travel to the Middle East and North African and conferences discussing, developing and implementing diversity and cultural understanding between the Middle Eastern communities abroad and in the Americas. The ALO Cultural Foundation ultimately hopes to offer opportunity to others to both change and improve the quality of their lives.


Multicultural Community Outreach and Development

Since our inception, the ALO Cultural Foundation has recognized the need for individual and corporate responsibility where we live and work. We believe in putting the foundation principles and purpose into action for the world’s underserved population and work to strengthen communities through our funding efforts, volunteerism and community collaborations. Our programs address the intractable issues of poverty and inadequate educational opportunities while promoting community engagement by every single resident.

  • Cross cultural activities
  • Middle Eastern cultural arts and entertainment exchange.
  • Rock'in Hearts Charitable concert series.
  • Develop programs that will create a bridge of understanding and tolerance between urban communities around the world between Middle Eastern, North African and Mediterranean communities and others.

    Humanitarian Relief

    From California to Lebanon, the ALO Cultural Foundation provides support. When the dust settles and women and children are left in need, ALO Cultural Foundation provides the person-to-person help for relief efforts and rapid reconstruction process, working with in concert with local organizations and worldwide NGOs increase the resilience of affected communities. We successfully complete relief mandates, often exceeding targeted goals. Community revitalization illustrated quite vividly through the renewed and improved reliefgoods (wheelchairs, medical research, hearing aids, food, and so forth) in damaged communities. Yet, equally important, we build the ability to gain access to supplies and program of these local institutions, which can continue to increase resilience.

    Contributions and loan programs are often more difficult to raise in reconstruction than in typical development programs, but these measures can bring about better quality results. By providing a “match” and a “bridge”, we have found that communities become more empower in the long-term rehabilitation process.

  • Fundraising for orphanages in third world countries
  • Development programs in third world countries
  • Children's in need with aid by facilitating, supporting and coordinating any needed health care and education.
  • Women's empowerment by providing financial aid for educational seminars and business opportunities.
  • Official adoption of Frasier Syndrome and the goal of finding a genetic cure and helping those suffering from it.
  • Aid other non-profit charity programs with mirrored missions.


    International Exchange

    The International Exchange programs were established in to provide enlightenment across all ethnicities to those who wish to help further cultural awareness through meaningful experiences. While international education sends thousands of students abroad annually on academic programs, the number of American participants on work, internship and volunteer abroad programs remains comparatively low.

    By providing assistance to eligible communities, the International Exchange programs aims to do its part in encouraging corporate and individual citizenship to pursue work and life experiential issues worldwide

  • Cultural exchange programs
  • Global women's empowerment
  • International scholarship exchange programs
  • Global environment awareness

  • ALO Cultural Foundation activities - past and present

    There are many children locally and nationally that are facing extreme challenges for their ability to secure a normal life. We can make a difference by providing an uplifting hand to give hope and a positive outlook. The ALO Cultural Foundation is vital to bring a heightened level of commitment in fostering cross-cultural relationships, empowering our communities and building new women’s and children’s programs. Our team has been active in the community supporting giving programs, including:

    When people and communities are in need, the ALO Cultural Foundation may already be there or in route with community outreach and humanitarian relief. Innovative solutions to combat those living without basic necessities are realized at the Foundation to respond to the challenge of no one being left behind.

  • CHF International helping low-income families in Lebanon [Read More]
  • International Relations to foster cultural relations through friendship, worldwide trade, and entrepreneurial relations International Relations, hosting Business and Charitable Delegations from Dubai, Egypt, and Jordan to bring voluntourism into the community and support events through in-kind giving, event help and cultural outreach.

  • Visit the Jordan Tourism Board [Read More]

  • Voluntourism in Jordan [Read More]

  • Dubai Delegation [Read More]
  • ALO-HOLA Roundtables – A series of roundtable discussions and dinners designed to bring the Latino and Middle Eastern communities closer. Reaching both communities initiated a strategic effort to foster cultural business relations and map plan for the youth to interact with influential decision makers in Los Angeles County. Similar programs are planned in the Chicagoland and inner New York cities areas. [Press Release]

    Help Hussein

    Miracle child, Hussein Balhas, needs your helpHelp 8-year-old Hussein Balhas with a cash donation. Any amount, large or small, will make a huge difference in this young child's life.

    Donate Now by Web via Paypal:

    Donate by Mail:
    Hussein Balhas Trust c/o ALO Cultural Foundation
    19365 Business Center Dr., Bldg. 1
    Northridge, CA 91324
    501(c)(3) #26-2673799

    100% of your gift will go towards Hussein Balhas':

    Living Expenses, Secondary Education, Long Term Medical Care, Primary Education, and/or College Fund.

    [Learn more about Fraser Syndrome]

    Press Release

    ALO Cultural Foundation and Hussein Balhas challenge the medical community. [Press Release]

  • For press or interviews contact Jack Reed, Unique Image, Inc.: 818.727.7785 or jack@uniqueimageinc.com

  • Hussein Story

    CBS NEWS STORY - Hussein Balhas comes to L.A. to receive necessary medical attention through the efforts of ALO Cultural FoundationSee the news clip from CBS - Aired Thursday, March 12th, 2009 [View Now]

    Lisa Sigell of Los Angeles’ CBS2 reports on The Pulse as Hussein begins surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

    CBS NEWS STORY - Hussein Balhas comes to L.A. to receive necessary medical attention through the efforts of ALO Cultural FoundationSee the news clip from CBS - Aired Thursday, February 5th, 2009 [View Now]
    A Medical Mystery
    - Hussein Balhas, 8-year-old boy from Lebanon, survives rare disease against all odds, and looks for hope and solutions from American doctors.  ALO Cultural Foundation coordinates massive effort on behalf of the child.

    Hussein asks: "Why did God make me this way?" His case is one-in-a-million, but his question challenges all of us. How can we turn away from a boy who has miraculously survived and wants a only a normal life? 

    The past year has seen the remarkable story of the foundation’s intervention on behalf of eight year-old Hussein Balhas, a Lebanese boy born with severe birth defects who is now receiving treatment and extensive reconstructive surgery in the United States through the help of and coordination of ACF.
    [PDF of appeal letter]

    CBS NEWS STORY - Hussein Balhas comes to L.A. to receive necessary medical attention through the efforts of ALO Cultural FoundationSEE ALSO - KABC7 showing Hussein’s arrival to the US with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar [View Now]
    Los Angeles…(September 18, 2008) Eight-year-old Hussein Balhas and his mother arrived safely at LAX from Lebanon eager to repair congenital birth defects and start anew. Their journey was a long one, but there were plenty of smiles when we met them at the terminal – along with meeting Kareem Abdul Jabbar. ABC News was on hand to capture the excitement.

    Thank you’s and acknowledgements

    Since the day we met Hussein, we had a dream to move mountains and make miracles. With the help of our Rock’in Hearts, the dream is being realized.

    We are making a difference. Together. Take a moment with us to acknowledge our angels:

  • SAWA with their support with hearing aids and co-fundraise for Hussein’s aftercare
  • The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund for their support to travel arrangements along with President Steve Sosebee’s unlimited guidance and support
  • Aziz Malley and family for their co-hosting of the family
  • Caroline Schrednick for her co-hosting and medical support
  • Dr. Guy Massry, M.D. and Dr. Babak Azizzadeh for their assessment and evaluation of Hussein’s medical condition and eyes and their dedication and support with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Mending Kids International for administering the International Children Surgeries Fund at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • David A. Kulber MD, EACS of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for his amazing work on Hussein’s hands
  • Andrew L. Freedman, MD, FAAP of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for his incredible urology work
  • Gene C. Liu, MD of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for his unbelievable oral and tongue work
  • Dr. H. John Shammas and his devotion and care in scanning, evaluating and research of the eyes
  • Dr. Lisa Cassileth for her research, assessment and support to help with medical solutions and Frasier Syndrome
  • Dr Elias Ayoub and his attention to Hussein’s ears, sponsorship in determining tangible solutions and referral to the The House Ear Institute
  • Maria Caroline Ortube, M.D. for her coordinated efforts with the Jules Stein Eye Institute
  • The Lebanese Ladies Cultural Society for their commitment to educational support in Lebanon
  • Keever Rhodes of Mending Kids International and Dr. Gregory P. Fontana and Michele Blecher, RN, NP, CNS, of the International Children's Surgery Fund at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for their devotion and assistance in handling Hussein’s medical care
  • Nagi Iskander, Director for International Health and Telemedicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for his interpretive skills
  • Dr. Rick Friedman and Jose N. Fayad, M.D. of the House Ear Institute for their evaluation and research for Hussein’s conductive hearing loss
  • Lisa Sigell of CBS2 and KCAL9 Los Angeles for her tireless reporting and awareness of the complete Hussein medical story
  • Diane Medina of ABC7 Los Angeles for making sure all of Los Angeles was there the day Hussein arrived
  • The ALO Cultural Foundation team of volunteers
  • The Lebanese Welfare Association for the Handicapped for handling the process with ALO Cultural Foundation to bring Hussein to the United States
  • CHF International for commitment to support the underprivileged in Lebanon, our combined efforts to deliver medical care and sustainability, and their introduction to the Balhas family
  • To the National Arab American Medical Association for their support our initiatives and the mission we stand for; with special a thank you to Dr. Mahmoud Kosi
  • Harutune Hamassian for behind-the-scenes logistical support with government agencies
  • The Tony Kalioundji Family, Mohammed Ahmar Family, Priscilla Koury Family, Amer Boukai Family, and the Sebouh Najarian Family for their amazing contribution and support of Hussein.
  • Café Du Liban and Elie Nemr for his in-kind contribution for meals to the family during their stay in the United States
  • Michael Lloyd for tutoring Hussein Balhas
  • Unique Image and their in-kind contribution to sustain, assist and manage the family and promote the ALO Cultural Foundation cause and mission
  • John M. Graham, Jr., M.D., Sc.D., Stephen E. Haddad, B.C.O., Dr. Gregory Perens, and Dr. Ezra Maguen for their intellect and evaluation of Hussein’s conditions
  • Our heartfelt hugs to our community partners for their support, good times and generosity:
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Dodgers Dream Foundation, Downtown Los Angeles Marriott, General Imaging, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Manny Ramirez, Stevie Wonder, Universal Studios Hollywood

    Contributors and Rock’in Hearts charter members:
    Eleanor A. Allen, Ramzi Aly, Samuel Amare, Deserie Baiza, Mary Barrientos, Gary Bedian, Magdalena Boukai, Joseph Delaguerra, Dallas Eichstedt, Joanne Harvey, Sam and Layla Khulusi, Arline Inge, Nafisa Kreidi, Mika Kypriandes, Stephanie Nemr, Hami Rabbani, Adetola Rahman, Samah Shouka, David J. Thomas, Jeanne White, James and Diane Williams, Vivian Wong, Hanan Zakarig, Al B. Sure!, Kerri Kasem, John Stites III

    …and all of our friends on Facebook supporting the cause [View Facebook]

    Hussein GALLERY

    Click on each photo to enlarge:

    [Learn more about the ALO Cultural Foundation]


    Help save Hussein and other children like him. There are many ways to support the life altering work of the ALO Cultural Foundation. Join us in becoming a supporter as we set out to change the hopes and dreams of these children and their families and provide a voice of opportunity for our community and partners alike. Your contribution makes a real difference. 100% of every dollar received supports social investment, community outreach, medical and education programs.


    Make checks payable to:

    Hussein Balhas Trust c/o ALO Cultural Foundation
    19365 Business Center Dr., Bldg. 1
    Northridge, CA 91324
    501(c)(3) #26-2673799


    PRINCIPAL OFFICE: The principal office for the transaction of the business of the Corporation (“Principal Executive Office”) is located at 19365 Business Center Drive, #1, Northridge, CA 91324, United States of America.

    ACF shall be a nonpolitical, nonpartisan, non-profit corporation organized and incorporated under the laws of the State of California for public and charitable purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code. Its mission of building stronger, healthier communities through social investment focused on cultural exchange programs, women empowerment, volunteerism, philanthropy, and diversity through the power of community outreach will foster friendship, knowledge, and understanding between these diverse people throughout the United States. ACF shall have such other purposes as are now or may hereafter be set forth in its Articles of Incorporation.