syria violence

I try not to get too personal on this blog, but I am tired of hearing “Never Again” being spoken by hypocrites.

In 1941, several of my relatives living in Europe–a family in Vienna with four children coming of age and a father who liked to play violin–were deported to Ukraine as part of the Nazi purges. There, most of them starved to death in the winter of 1942. The youngest was 15. Only two of the daughters, Elsa and Paula, survived to even tell of what had happened to their family. In my family there are many others who we can’t even say what happened to them. Their life stories end in question marks, often with a little note attached that reads, “Killed in the war?”

Escaping to the US was impossible: Americans were still afraid that people posing as Jewish refugees would actually be communists or Nazi sympathizers, and would topple America from within. 72% of Americans were opposed to admitting large numbers of Jews.

The day after Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are still reeling from the effects of Donald Trump’s executive orders. While these resulted in a lot of policy shifts, the short of it is that programs to admit refugees have been suspended and that all people traveling from Muslim-majority countries are banned from entering the US, even if they already have a green card. Of the refugees, most of them are children, mothers, and families desperate to escape the large-scale violence that has consumed countries like Iraq and Syria for years. Children live in shelled-out homes and people try to reconstruct their lives under rubble. Government forces, rebel forces, and in some places ISIS serve to make every place an utter hell. 

This is how it begins: in America, we see the footage of drowned children whose parents were desperate to give them a better life, and instead we spend hours on the news babbling about the “risk” of an ISIS terrorist posing as a refugee and bombing our cities. The same way that in the 1930s and 40s, we crowed about how Nazis could pose as Jews and infiltrate our country. 

“Never Forget,” they say. I think they’ve forgotten.


A 7-year-old Syrian girl and her mother are posting haunting Tweets about living in Aleppo

Seven-year-old Bana al-Abed and her mother, Fatemah, have been using Twitter to document the reality of their lives in Aleppo, Syria. “[It’s] very bad and fearful — there’s bombing everyday for the last two weeks,” Fatemah wrote in an email. A number of heir tweets have gone viral — including a heartbreaking post about what Bana does to try to forget the war.
What happened in Syria was an act of terror killing innocent lives and piercing a dagger to the heart of an already war torn country. May the world realize that Middle Eastern lives matter. My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected in the turmoil of Syria and Turkey. No life shall be considered worthless. We as a world can run towards the love of the moon or the fiery pit of hate. Let’s chose Love.

For two weeks, a battle has raged in Aleppo, generating tragic images of injured civilians amid the rubble.

The city — once the country’s most populous, and a commercial hub — is a key prize in the civil war. For four years, it has been divided between government and rebel forces and was in effect a military stalemate.

Russia is among the supporters of Syrian president Bashar Assad, while the U.S. supports rebel forces. They were talking to try to find a way to calm the violence in Syria, but the negotiations collapsed this week.

With a diplomatic solution a distant prospect, attention has shifted to the battlefield, and the possibility that the Syrian military could capture Aleppo, the last major city where rebels have a real presence.

“The battle of Aleppo is the culmination of many years of fighting,” says analyst Jennifer Cafarella with the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War. For four years, she says, Assad’s forces and regional allies fighting alongside them have planned to recapture the whole of Aleppo city and the surrounding countryside.

Why The Battle For Aleppo Is So Important

Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Caption: Smoke rises after aircraft belonging to the Russian army bombed a residential area in the Darat Izza neighborhood of Aleppo on Tuesday.

Pray for Syria

Pray for Syria

PRay for Syria

PRAy for Syria 

PRAY for Syria

PRAY For Syria

PRAY FOr Syria