Home Articles #SyriaNow – 5 Weeks to go

#SyriaNow – 5 Weeks to go

by zeenat

Azhar Vadi | 19 August 2019

8 years ago protesters in Syria took to the streets of the country in opposition to the government of Bashar al-Assad. 8 years later, with the involvement of a myriad of foreign powers turning the situation into a political and military mess, more than half million people dead, and several million refugees, Syria remains a quagmire that many, even in high diplomatic positions, struggle to understand.

What is as clear as sunlight after a starry lit sky, is that the sheer weight of human suffering experienced by the Syrian public is unlike any other in recent years. A war that has outlasted World War II and a  ferocity of attacks by the regime and its allies and the many opposition groups have decimated all elements of normalcy in the country.

The bottom line is that Syria’s refugees have been forgotten. It is for this reason that we, as Salaamedia and Salaam Foundation have launched a campaign to fill a container with relief items collected in South Africa. Adult and kiddies diapers, sanitary pads, blankets (150mmx200mm), mattresses, wheelchairs, medical walkers, stationery and school bags will fill the container #LoveHopeCare.

Syrian civilians flee the violence in their towns

It may be difficult for us in the normal world to understand, but the most glaring fact is that every single child in Syria under the age of 10 has only ever known war and destruction. Perhaps the abnormal has become normal for them and we cannot allow this status quo to remain.

With the collapse of truce after truce, the most recent bout of government and Russian attacks have left the remaining parts of the Idlib province in tatters. The region held by rebel forces was pounded by airstrikes during the month of July and continued into August causing the exodus of a further 500 000 people and leaving a trail of death and destruction.

With the growing number of world crisis in recent years and donor fatigue, the suffering of the Syrian civilians has been largely ignored.

At one stage I recall on my visits to the border with Turkey the presence of dozens of international agencies, each racing with each other to provide a service to these people.

During my latest visit however, there was almost none present. Occasionally one or two groups may make the effort to go down to the southern Hatay province where the IHH, a Turkish coordinating NGO is based. But the efforts are nowhere near the flurry in the years gone by.

Children have suffered the most in this ongoing war

Through our #SyriaNow – fill a container campaign – we hope to activate schools, families and communities again.

Is it a lot of unnecessary work? Yes it is an additional effort, but it certainly is not unnecessary. Social consciousness and awareness is vital in a world going forward on hatred and division.

To the shopkeepers, school children, elderly, mothers and fathers who are victims of the war in Syria, this will be a powerful message of #LoveHopeCare once again emanating from the south of Africa.

For a full list of donation points scroll down or for more information on the campaign contact Fatima Sookharia on 072 122 8400, fatima@salaamedia.com

Drop-off points:

Salaam Foundation  |  Robertsham, 92 Xavier Street  |  Fatima Sookharia  |  072 122 8400

Actonville  |  1372 Loonat Street  |  Naseema Sookharia  |  083 616 6153

Auckland Park  |  MSA UJ  |  Zakiya Shaik  |  061 073 7223

Azaadville  |  Maymoona Chohan  |  074 454 3315

Balloon Foundation  |  Haroon Patel  |  079 107 2704

Balloon Foundation  |  Wits main campus  |  Aadil Seedat  |  076 188 0931

Bela Bela  |  Muhammad Desia  |  081 289 1997

Bela Bela  |  Ml Ebrahim Rawat  |  082 263 8954

Benoni  |  Beyers Park, 12 Bartlett Rd  |  Fatima Ganchi  |  082 348 8046

Benoni | Lakefield, 11 Ness Avenue  |  Nashreen Hansrod  |  083 655 3341

Benoni |The Stewards, Building Blocks, 20 Calderwood Street  |  Shamiema Saley  |  072 384 3486

Benoni| Amina Bhabha  |  084 521 9237

Benoni  |  Beyers Park, 12 Bartlett Rd  |  Fatima Ganchi  |  082 348 8046

Bethal  |  Bethal Town Masjid, 7 Clercq Street  |  Ml Ahmed Ravat  |  084 374 9678

Beyers Park  |  65 Monte Cristo  |  Nahida Dawood  |  084 528 2786

Bilal Combined School  |  Corner Wimbledon and Wellington, Lenasia South  |  Taahira Timol  |  061 439 0955

Brits  |  Salimah Ahmed Gutta  |  084 205 6374

Bryanston  |  Zakkiyya Mota  |  071 879 4077

Caring Women’s Forum  |  Ayesha Essack  |  073 224 9984  |  Naushina Ismail  |  082 625 6252  |  Raeesa Gutta  |  074 786 7060

Crosby |  9 Barberton Street  |  Fehmida Bapoo  |  082 855 5725  |  Naseema Nalla  |  073 786 0444

Durban |  490 Peter Mokaba Rd(Ridge Rd) Overport |  Mrs Olgar  |  072 144 2333

Greenside |  Cake Walk, Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia  | Mariam Mia  |  082 956 7464  |  Sommaya Motala  |  083 650 9577

Houghton  |  22 6th Avenue  |  Dr. Fatima Bhabha  |  082 551 6104

Jump the Puddle  |  2C Netania st. Rynsoord  |  Zaiboon Katrada  |  062 493 4658

Kidz Campus  |  Sabeela Asmal  |  084 555 3889

Little Darlings  |  Rashida  |  076 864 1786

Little Folks  |  Appa Sajeda  |  082 372 8223

Little Treasures Playgroup  |  Fatima Ganchi  |  072 814 6591

Lenasia  |  24 Mahanadi Avenua  |  Tasneem Mangel  |  084 599 7022

Lenasia | Muslim Youth Council |Aarifah Bham | 083 630 0605

Mackenzie park  |  32 Heron street  |  Faatima Ally  |  084 306 3046

Marlboro  |  9 Gazania Crescent Marlboro Gardens  |  Hasina Bhana  |  072 363 9571

Mokopane  |  52 Ruiter Rd  |  Naasiha Hansrod  |  082 699 4782

Montgomery Park  |  21 West Park Road  |  Shaatirah Hassim  |  084 583 2190

Northcliff  |  Shaatirah Hassim  |  084 583 2190

Norwood  |  Balloon Foundation  |  Fareeha Amod  |  072 114 9650

Pietermaritzburg  |  4 Burnside (entrance on Kenilworth) Mountain Rise  |  Farzana Essa  |  083 628 7786

Polokwane  |  Anisah Moosa  |  082 646 0505

Purposeful Giving  |  Claudius/ Laudium  |  81 Maxwell Road  |  Zafreen  |  083 779 6855

Purposeful Giving  |  Eldoraigne   |  Little Hearts Store, 1257 Willem Botha street  |  Sumaya  |  082 0517 860

Qurtuba  |  319 Al Qasr  |  Tasneem Bayat  |  084 840 6661

Robertsham  |  Zakkiyya Mota  |  071 879 4077

Roosevelt park |  Shaatirah Hassim  |  084 583 2190

Roshnee  |  VMWF Offices, 5 Zam Zam Street, Dadaville  |  Hawa Patel  |  082 920 0773

Rustenburg  |  Zinniaville, 68 Hollyhock Street  |  Bibi Aysha Haffejee  |  082 840 9077

Springs  |  23 Geranium Street, Bakerton  |  Khatija Seedat  |  076 250 4029

Standerton  |  136 Sydney de Lange  |  Rabia Cajee  |  084 528 7861

The Roadshow Muslimah  |  Melville, 28A Banbury Road  |  Tasneem Ebrahim  |  083 697 5575

The Roadshow Muslimah  |  Montgomery park, 41 Hugo Naude Street   |  083 786 3495

The Roadshow Muslimah  |  Mayfair West, 48 Bellona Road  |  081 460 3079

Ummah Heart  |  Zaahira Karrim  |  073 600 6014

VMWF  |  5 Zam Zam streer, Dadaville  |  Hawa Patel  |  082 920 0773

Whizzkids  |  Mackenzie Park  |  Faatima Wadee |  076 864 1786

Faheemah Moosa  |  081 454 8337

Items required. Our focus will be on:
1. adult and children’s nappies,
2. sanitary pads,
3. mattresses (190x80x10cm)
4. blankets (150x200cm)

Monetary contributions will be used for the following:
1. Stationery packs (R70)
2. School Bags (R100)
3. Wheel Chairs (R1400)
4. Walkers (R450)
5. Transport, logistics and other additional goods

Banking Details

Salaam Foundation (cheque account)

FNB Account No: 62669147665

Branch: 250 737

Ref: SYR +name (Zakaat/Lillah)

Fatima Sookharia | 2 August 2019

Human beings are being butchered – Syrians living in the North Western part of their country are currently being severely bombed by their own government and Russian allies. 450 civilians have been killed since the onslaught that started just a few weeks ago and about 500 000 people have been internally displaced in the past three weeks in Syria’s Idlib province. Schools, hospitals, bakeries and markets have been targeted. This violence has further exacerbated an already dire humanitarian crisis. Horrific pictures and videos have been emerging in recent days as Syrians are pleading for the world to recognise their plight.

Maseeha Saloojee, a South African citizen now living in Syria for the past 5 years, spoke to Salaamedia, “the situation is getting worse by the day, it’s really strange that people are thinking that the war in Syria is over.”

There has been a serious escalation of violence in the past 10 days. Images of parents holding the limbs of their children that have been severed from their bodies are coming through. Babies have been trapped under rubble of fallen buildings as bombs drop on civilians who understand little, all caught in this struggle that they are victim to.

“We get a lot of children at the school from all over that are traumatised by their experiences and we try to take the attention away from them. One of the children from our nursery has been burned from a bomb. There’s a second child that was caught under rubble, Alhamdulillah we managed to get him out, but before the fire died out, he burnt his back and this resulted in severe emotional trauma as well, where he would not speak for two months of him arriving at the school. While the world fights for the rights of being gay, transsexual, bisexual and queer…yet no one fights for the right of these little children to live. Just to live…” says Saloojee who runs a Nursery school in Syria

In terms of aid and rejuvenation, she says that clothing, shelter, medical supplies and food are immediate needs. She expressed her concern about the children not having access to stationery to facilitate learning. “We encourage education as much as possible and want the kids to come to school, because most of the time, the mothers are illiterate.” Saloojee also explained that the problem is not going to go away unless the war ends, or the people are accepted into other countries.

This armed conflict has been going on since March 2011. After all this time, do we ask the question, whose fault is it? Do we go back and analyse the situation, or do we come to a point where we say ENOUGH? The violence needs to end.
Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war.

The governments are embroiled in a game of thrones, a game of power. A game of wanting to take control of strategic lands that include gas pipe lines, mineral resources, travel routes and control of oil wells but through all of this are civilians who are the targets of grotesque atrocities. Human beings, civilians are on the losing side of this war. The sight of the sad smile on the face of a mother who has lost yet another child. Or the tear rolling down the cheek of a child who has been orphaned for the second time, left parentless now are the people that we stand with the innocent that are being killed butchered every day. Thousand have fled to fields and open lands, living under trees. Many more are still trapped in cities that have been turned into rubble

Syria needs us Now

Salaam Foundation is spearheading a campaign to send a container load of supplies to these people. Our focus will be on:
1. adult and children’s nappies,
2. sanitary pads,
3. mattresses (190x80x10cm)
4. blankets (150x200cm)

Cash donations are also welcome to assist with:
1. Stationery packs (R70)
2. School Bags (R100)
3. Wheel Chairs (R1400)
4. Walkers (R450)
5. Transport, logistics and other additional goods

Time Line:
Start – immediate
Collection end: 30 September

Deposits can be made to:
Salaam Foundation
6266 914 7665
Branch: 250 737
Ref: Syria name (Zakaat/Lillah)

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