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Impact Articles

Don’t Ignore Aleppo

Impact
Dec 15, 2016

Don’t Ignore Aleppo

WORDS BY: ARIELA KOZIN | FEATURED + LEAD IMAGES COURTESY OF TAMMAM AZZAM + MAHMOUD AL-BASHA

What is happening in Aleppo is genocide: plain and simple.

Before the war began four year ago, the Syrian capital was the most populated city in the region. It was filled with historic stunning architecture, with construction dating as far back as 6th millennium BC. The Islamic culture site was once known as a peaceful metropolis, filled with tourists shopping in marketplaces and neighbors getting together for tea on patios.

Then in 2011, what were meant to be non-violent anti-government protests—calling for a balance of power and an end to world isolation—were interrupted by shootings. Months later, pro-government demonstrations were held with huge crowds and conflict continued to grow between the two sides through Syria until Aleppo became an active battleground in 2012. The 2.4 million residents were ordered to evacuate, but many were unable to leave.

Today, there are reportedly over 200,000 people still in the middle of the brutal chaos. Children are being left orphans. Families are being torn apart. According to the Violations Documentation Center in Syria, more than 31,000 people have been killed since the civil war began.

There is currently a ceasefire, but many refugees are just traveling for one wrecked city to another.

IMAGES COURTESY OF: HAGOP VANESIAN

On Tuesday, The U.N. held an emergency meeting about the war.

During the conference, US Ambassador Samantha Powers held an emergency conference to demand her Syrian, Iranian, and Russian counterparts take responsibility for the latest world atrocity.

“By rejecting UN-ICRC evacuation efforts, you are signaling to those militia who are massacring innocents to keep doing what they are doing. Denying or obfuscating the facts, as you will do today—saying up is down, black is white—will not absolve you. When one day there is a full accounting of the horrors committed in this assault of Aleppo—and that day will come, sooner or later—you will not be able to say you did not know what was happening. You will not be able to say you were not involved. We all know what is happening. And we all know you are involved.”

Just remember, although you may feel powerless, you are not.

DONATE HERE:

Unicef: They have a fund specifically for refugees.

International Rescue Committee: The IRC provides emergency aid.

Hand in Hand for Syria: This organization works on the ground to offer help.

VOLUNTEER:

Refugees Welcome: It’s a room-sharing service with a set-up similar to Airbnb, but for refugees. If you are able to share your home, you will be able to help war victims transition into an entirely new culture.

Volunteer at a local refugee sanctuary near you: Enter your address, and the algorithm will map out refugee centers near you with contact information.