MODERN RESOURCES: TOOLS TO SUPPORT THE PEOPLE OF SYRIA

An excerpt from a press release from the Karan Foundation on April 4th, 2017:

“On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, the Syrian regime launched an air raid that released toxic gas, suspected to be sarin, on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province in Syria. 58 civilians were killed, including 11 children. More than 300 civilians were injured in the attack.

Hours later, the Khan Sheikhoun SCD center and Al-Rahma Hospital, where victims of the attack were being treated, were targeted by air strikes. The center is no longer in service. The death toll is expected to rise, as medics and rescue workers struggle to save the victims with the limited resources they have.” 

In response to the April 4th chemical attack, on April 7th, Tr*mp launched a series US missile strikes on a Syrian air base. These missile strikes have reportedly killed nine civilians, including four children. In an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, American ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stated that “We are prepared to do more. But we hope that will not be necessary.”

Tr*mp claims that this act of violence aimed to protect the same people he has denied as refugees.

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There are many ways to turn your outrage against these acts of warfare into action. The following are just a few tools to support Syrians during this ongoing crisis.

If you are able to make a financial donation, there are many incredible non-profit organizations that need money to continue rescue, medical, and resettlement efforts:

  1. Donate to groups working on the ground in Syria right now.
    1. The White Helmets are a neutral volunteer search-and-rescue team dedicated to saving lives and strengthening communities in Syria. For those civilians directly affected by bombings, The White Helmets are an immediate resource for rescue.
    2. Islamic Relief USA provides Syrian families with resources such as food, blankets, and mattresses. Likewise, they also provide Syrians with medical assistance, shelter, sanitation, and cash.
    3. Médecins Sans Frontières is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict.
    4. The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) provides medical resources to Syrians, including funding field hospitals and paying the salaries of the Syrian medical personnel.
    5. The International Rescue Committee trains and supports medical teams in Idlib, the town of the most recent chemical attack. They are also providing emergency cash to Idlib residents. Other projects of the IRC focus on providing education and opportunities for entrepreneurship to Syrians.
  2. Support organizations who support people in camps and help to resettle refugees.
    1. Karam Foundation seeks “to restore the dignity and quality of life for people affected by conflict by eliminating barriers to success through innovative education, entrepreneurial development, and community-driven aid”.
    2. More Than 10,000 advocates for the integration of Syrian refugees in the United States. As of August 31, 2016, the United States had only taken in 10,000 Syrian refugees. According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner, 4,798,574 Syrian refugees were registered with the United Nations as of October 23, 2016. This number does not include the estimated 6.5 million people who are internally displaced from their homes.
    3. The International Rescue Committee can help connect you with opportunities to mentor a refugee in your community.

For those who are unable to donate, there are many other ways to support Syrians both worldwide and in your community:

  1. Call your representatives and demand them to lift the ban on Syrian refugees.
    1. Find your representative here.
    2. Here is a sample script that you can use, adapted from here:
      1. I’m (YOUR NAME), and I am a constituent of Representative/Senator (NAME). I am concerned about President Tr*mp’s executive order restricting immigration from Muslim majority countries and ending the Syrian refugee resettlement program. This executive order goes against our shared American values of religious tolerance, diversity, and nondiscrimination. I’m calling to see if Representative/Senator (NAME) plans to publicly oppose Trump’s decision to sign this executive order.
  2. Call your representatives and demand the American military to stop bombing Syria.
    1. Find your representative here.
    2. Here is a sample script that you can use, adapted from here:
      1. I’m (YOUR NAME), and I am a constituent of Representative/Senator (NAME). I am concerned about President Tr*mp’s missile attack on Syria. I do not authorize the use of American military force in Syria. With civilians being butchered and refugees suffering immensely, it is horrifying to watch the brutal civil war in Syria unfold. U.S. military intervention is far more likely to make matters worse, not better. The U.S. should not bomb Syria. The best thing we can do is commit to holding war criminals accountable, expand humanitarian aid for refugees, and maintain constant diplomatic pressure for a negotiated end to the conflict.
  3. When possible, amplify the voices of Syrians affected by this crisis on social media. Spread the word about what is happening; silence is violence. Retweet and share posts by activists and organizations, especially those posts that provide resources for other parties to help the Syrian community. Respect, share, and listen to Muslim voices; do not speak over these voices.
  4. Educate yourself on the crisis in Syria using multiple sources. Information is power. Try to educate yourself on all sides of the story so that you can make an informed decision and see through national propaganda. Hold politicians accountable.
  5. If there are refugees resettled in your community, offer what you can (volunteer to drive them, offer English lessons, etc).

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Adapted from a series of tweets by Eemi Abbasi. She is a human rights advocate, community organizer, and researcher who also serves as the co-director of “More than 10,000“.

Cover photo of Syrian woman and child by Yasin Akgul for AFP / image taken on March 25, 2015.

If you know of any ways that we can make this post a stronger resource, email us at moderngirlsinfo@gmail.com.

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