– #AleppoIsBurning –
The worldwide red protest – join the cause
I don’t take pride for being Syrian; whenever someone asks where I’m from, I lower my head with shame and answer in a bleak manner. That’s when they say “oh”, as if it was the wrong question to have asked. I don’t pride myself in being Syrian, especially that I am here writing this blog post knowing it would barely create any impact on reality. It pains me whenever firework come off randomly at the creek near where I live and witness colorful collisions in the night sky – while all they hear is the shrieking of bombs descending at terrifying speed, threatening their lives with every passing second.
It’s 28 April 2016 – meaning that the Syrian situation, as we know, has been ongoing for 5 years since March 2011. Syrian citizens have been forced to leave their homes and head out to countries that may or may not offer them shelter. That’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Just recently, the hashtag #AleppoIsBurning has gone viral – yet another trend created to address this dire situation. Though it is great to spread awareness through what may be the only thing we share in common (social media), we shouldn’t forget the reality of the Syrian situation. Let’s not infuse it with the digital world; the pain is real and we’re dismissing it.
Let’s not segregate our empathy and instead focus on offering a helping hand to everyone in need. This isn’t a Syrian problem anymore but rather a humanitarian one – a global issue that makes us question whether we are humans or monsters. In this post, I talk about ways that you remain engaged and be engaged any way possible. Do not sit back and be a witness of the daily massacres just because you believe you are incapable of creating a change! No matter how small, you can still be part of changing someone’s life.
Here’s what we can do:
With the incredible and vast world of the internet, social media has been our main method of getting in touch with others. There are neither limits or excuses when it comes to its usage. The majority of the human population has internet access and can in one way or another spread the word.
Talk to others about it, remind them that we are responsible for what’s happening. Create a chain, tell one person who would go and tell someone else. Share a link and inform them of the many ways that we are able to lend a helping hand. This is especially targeted at social media socialites: if you have so much trust in your abilities and supporters on your social accounts, be responsible and do your part in raising awareness. Let your voice be heard!
A dear relative of mine educated me about participating in events abroad such as Turkey and Greece. Volunteers travel to areas that have a large number of refugees residing in tents and camps. They take on the responsibility of providing food and support to these refugees. This is one way that you can directly see the positive impact you are creating on other people’s lives, especially once you see their smiles and feel their appreciation. A little support can go a long way! Visit PRI for several links
Offer a hand
Reach out to trusted humanitarian committees: Whether it’s through donations or assistance, anyone is capable of offering some money or clean/ useful supplies such as blankets, clothes, small tents, etc.. creating a difference. Visit this site for more info. Hero Fund are currently crowdfunding for donations in hope of reaching the $100,000 benchmark for the White Helmets. Please donate to this cause as all proceeds go to the volunteers who are risking their lives. However, the campaign is bank rolled by the US and can cause a stir. Search for other rescue groups and support them.
Sponsor a child
Adopting might seem like an overwhelming and difficult thought but that’s why sponsoring exists. By taking part in a regular plan for let’s say $1 a day, it would be enough to support a child with enough basic needs. Here are some websites where you can learn more about how to sponsor a vulnerable child: Save the Children | SOS | Syrian Orphans
Learn and act
This isn’t the time to be afraid of speaking the truth. It isn’t the time to be afraid of being judged – we have long passed those days and our actions are now being calculated for the lives that are being wasted in these struggles. Be a hero, know what you’re capable of and do it. I know that physically, I am not the fittest nor will I be useful in visiting refugee sites and offering labor help but I do know that I can spread the word by sharing it on social media and among my friends. We should stop feeling ashamed of ourselves and stand up for those who are in pain. No matter where they’re located or whatever the cause – we are all in this! It isn’t about my people or yours, it’s about our world. Stand up and fight back and become your own leader!
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of the organizations mentioned above, however, based on basic research, they seem to be trustworthy and credible. Please do your research as well before advancing in your next step.