Doing our homework: Helping Syria

Many have acknowledged that what is happening in Syria is nothing short of a horror story. From the deaths, to torture, and starvation the situation continues to worsen while we cradle our heads in our palms. An overriding question seems to be ‘what can we do?’ It starts with shifting the oppressive narrative and acknowledging the perpetrators of the conflict; beginning with the dictatorship under Bashar Al-Assad to his supporters like Hezbollah and Russia.

What is more insidious than silence, is the concealment of our complicity under the excuse of helplessness. There is much to be done for Syria, from using our voice to field mobilization and basic solidarity.

The post below was compiled by Ramah Kudaimi with some examples on how we can begin helping Syria. It’s time to stop lamenting and begin mobilizing.

If history can teach us anything, it should be that we are powerful in unity and solidarity. When we refuse complacency in oppression and subjugation in whatever manifestation it comes about we can create change.

Follow Ramah on twitter @ramahkudaimi

You can find the original post here.

  1. Support humanitarian efforts
    You can donate, volunteer your team, expertise, etc to support on the ground non-profits The need is large. Some that you can support: Karam Foundation, NuDay Syria, Syrian American Medical Society, Syrian Civil Defence, UNRWA
  2. Support Syrian groups reporting on war crimes
    Some examples: Violations Documentation Center, Syrian Network for Human Rights
  3. Sign the Need for Accountability and Justice from Manbij to Ghouta to Aleppo statement
  4. If your country is involved in airstrikes against Syria, call on your leaders to stop
  5. Arrange film screenings in your local community to educate people about the revolution and subsequent crises
    Some examples: RETURN TO HOMS, BORDER, THE SUFFERING GRASSES, WE CAN GO THERE NOW MY DEAR, THE JOURNEY FROM SYRIA, OUR TERRIBLE COUNTRY, STREETS OF FREEDOM, SYRIA: SNAPSHOTS OF HISTORY IN THE MAKING
  6. Read BURNING COUNTRY
    Either by yourself or in a reading group
  7. Follow informed, principled people on Twitter to stay up to date on current events
  8. Do you work on prisoners, abolition, torture?
    Make the link with Syrian prisoners and highlight the plight of Syrian prisoners
  9. Push local media to run stories that actually feature Syrians
  10. Challenge problematic coverage on Syria
  11. Invite and host Syrians to speak at your events about Syria
  12. Commemorate significant massacres and hold space for Syrians to mourn
    Houla: May 25; Baniyas: May 3; August 25; Ghouta: August 21 (to list a few)
  13. Are you a Palestine organizer?
    Make the link to right of return with Palestinian refugees in Syria
  14. Advocate strongly for refugees protection
  15. Advocate strongly against the creation of new refugees
    This means holding Russia and Iran accountable in your discourse and narrative as well.
  16. Work with Syrian solidarity groups to help push for accountability
    And if you come from an experienced background, help them to develop these plans. After all, isn’t that what true solidarity is?
  17. Support independent Syrian journalists
    Independent Syrian journalists are under attack from all sides. Support them by amplifying their voices, stories, efforts. Find ways to support them fiscally. Donate to organizations that support persecuted journalists.
  18. Are you a fluent Arabic and English speaker? Volunteer with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
    You can conduct interviews with Syrian and Iraqi asylees seeking legal assistance to come to the US via Skype.
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