Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Cities in Exile

The fourth largest city in Jordan is a Syrian refugee camp. Zaatari camp was intended to hold no more than 85,000 people, but now has a population of over 100,000. In April, Jordan opened Azraq camp. It currently accommodates over 11,000 registered refugees, but is designed to take up to 130,000 people.

The total number of Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR is now over 3.7 million.

BBC News feature from September 2013 – Zaatari refugee camp: Rebuilding lives in the desert

The Daily Star, Lebanon, on Azraq – Jordan opens Syria refugee camp for 130,000 people

UNHCR data on Syrian refugees.

The number of refugees accepted for resettlement by the UK is vanishingly small in comparison. Join us in London on Saturday 31st January for a demonstration to say Syrian refugees are welcome in the UK.

Syrian Refugees Welcome Here
Saturday 31 January at 2-5pm
Home Office, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF

Facebook event page.

Video: Snow in Zaatari Refugee Camp – Jordan Times, Jan 8, 2015.
Syrian refugees face abject conditions at the Zaatari Refugee Camp, some 80km northeast of Amman, on Thursday. Snow destroyed several tents and water flooded many others this week. The Norwegian Refugee Council warned on Wednesday that the lack of funds is negatively affecting relief efforts for Syrian refugees during the snowstorm. “Storms, snow and freezing cold are threatening lives among exhausted Syrian refugees in the Middle East. [NRC] fears that the insufficient assistance may have fatal consequences for refugees and internally displaced from Lebanon to Northern Iraq,” the organisation said in a statement.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

How you can help

If you would like to help the Syrian people in these hugely difficult times, there are various ways you can do so:

Support The Syria Campaign. This is an organisation that has proved very effective in lobbying over issues related to Syria: for example supporting an EU embargo on sale of aviation fuel to Syria; pressing for funding of aid for Syrian  refugees, and for admission of Syrian asylum seekers to European countries.

It also raises support for civil initiatives inside Syria like the White Helmets.

Support humanitarian NGO’s which channel aid directly to needy communities in Syria (most UN aid is delivered in association with the regime). These include:
Watanili’s ‘Cinema on the Go’ visits Aleppo

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Vigils for Syria’s Forgotten Cities

Saturday 20th December, 6 to 8:00 pm in Trafalgar Square.
Facebook event page.

Saturday 20th December, 5 to 6:00 pm in Piccadilly Gardens.
Facebook event page.

Light a candle, post a photo, tag it #SyriasForgottenCities.
Details here.

This Christmas Syria’s people need your support and solidarity. This will be the fourth Christmas since the mass uprising against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad began. Over the past three years brutal repression and mass killings by this regime have driven almost half the population of the country from their homes: 2.5 million have been turned into refugees while another 6.5 million are internally displaced, their houses shattered in a systematic campaign of bombing and shelling which has reduced whole cities to rubble.

Still Syrians resist both the regime and the terrifying gangsters of ISIS who have grown in the shadow of the regime’s violence. These people, the inhabitants of Syria’s forgotten towns and cities, need your solidarity.

This vigil is an opportunity for people across Britain to demonstrate their support for the Syrian people, and to pay their respect to those who have lost their lives in this great struggle for dignity and freedom.

We invite solidarity, peace, and human rights activists around the country to join us in a “Syria’s Forgotten Cities” campaign: to organise vigils and rallies, to inform people of the realities of Syrians’ ongoing struggles, and to encourage support for their cause.

Press release PDF.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

SOAS Syria Society presents Watanili and filmmaker Adnan Jetto

Friday 28 November 7:00 pm, Room B102, Brunei Gallery, SOAS.

Above: Jalila, a short documentary on Syrian women’s roles in the revolution, one of three films by Adnan Jetto being shown by the SOAS Syria Society on Friday.

From the Facebook event page:
The SOAS Syria Society is delighted to host Watanili and filmmaker Adnan Jetto on November 28th at 7pm in room B102 in the Brunei Gallery, SOAS.

Watanili is a grassroots initiative, founded in May 2014. Initially, the idea was to shed light on the civilian aspect of the Syrian uprising; stories and issues that were not necessarily being covered by the mainstream media. Today, Watanili aims to focus on sustainable projects from educational initiatives to recreational activities for internally and externally displaced Syrians alongside various campaigns and films to continue delivering one message for a free Syria based on democracy, rule of law, freedom and social justice.

Programme for the evening:

Presentation of Watanili
Screening of three short movies by Adnan Jetto
Q&A with the filmmaker and Watanili member
Sale of Watanili catalogues

The event is free but there is a suggested donation of £3 that will go to Watanili.

Watanili Link: http://www.watanili.com/

Art in Conflict: Syria - Fundraising Event

Monday 1st December, 6:30-9:00 pm, at The Frontline Club London.

Facebook event page.

A fundraiser for Hand in Hand for Syria featuring art, talks and film. From contemporary Syrian artist Tarek Tuma to political cartoonist Nabil Abou Hamad to Vice News photographer Frederick Paxton, this event celebrates a great variety of Syrian art.

There will be talks from some of the artists. Drinks on arrival.

Limited tickets for The Frontline Club are £10 and can be bought here. Talk begins at 7.30pm.

Image: One of Frederick Paxton’s images from Aleppo – more here.

Support the women saving Syrians from bombing

Syrian Civil Defence, also known as The White Helmets, are volunteer first responders working to rescue victims of bombing. To date they have helped save over 10,000 lives. It’s a dangerous task: in Aleppo alone, 17 rescue workers have been killed.

Now 56 women have trained to join Syrian Civil Defence. They need ambulances. The Syria Campaign is fundraising to buy 6 ambulances at a cost of $90,000. So far they’ve raised just over $17,000. You can help here.