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    Industry's Relief Effort Continues

    Massachusetts convenience store owner sets up donation program to benefit the Red Cross.

    Assaad Nasr fled the Middle East more than a decade ago to escape the ravages of war in his native Lebanon. Now an American citizen, the successful businessman has decided he must give back to his adopted country by launching a program to help the victims of America's worst terrorist attacks.

    Nasr, owner of a six Exxon Tiger Mart convenience stores in Massachusetts, is donating 20 cents of every gallon of gasoline sold yesterday at his Framingham, Mass. store to the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, according to WCVB TV in Boston..

    "I'm proud to be American, and I really don't feel any difference between me as an immigrant and other citizens," Nasr said. "And you get the feeling that you've got to do something for this country, and I'll do anything to defend this country or stand with this country."

    Both Nasr and his manager are natives of Beirut who fled war-torn Lebanon more than a decade ago to live in peace. Now, what they lived with day in and day out has hit home.

    "When I saw New York, I was crying, because my memory came back from the Lebanon tragedy," store manager Robert Karam said. "We used to see this every day. Bomb, car bomb; it's very sad."

    Nasr said that he lowered his prices 4 cents a gallon to attract motorists. Many of his customers said that they chose to gas up Monday because of the donation program.

    Nasr will extend his efforts to include all six of the gas stations that he owns. On a rotating basis this week, he will make similar donations from the proceeds at each store. When the week is up, Nasr expects that he will be able to write a check for at least $20,000 to the American Red Cross.

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