I know this is meant to be a writing blog, and I diverted once before around the time of the US presidential election. I know the war over Aleppo has been going on for four years now, and the fact that people are suffering and dying over there is nothing new. Nothing new, I suppose, but today I looked at the faces of people who are trapped over there and I broke down and cried. Surely there is something I can do? Surely something can be done to help these people?
I’m afraid appealing to the better nature of US politicians is unlikely to work, particularly in the incoming administration which seems so hostile to Muslims. I am also not sure that the USA (or Canada, for that matter) wants to involve itself in Aleppo, since they already are still reeling from the ill-advised war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. If anything is to be done, it has to come from from us- from average people, who don’t necessarily have a platform or much political clout. I look at the people of Aleppo and I see people who are just like me- people that are trapped in a nightmare not of their own making, who are suffering because they were born in the wrong country. They’ve done nothing wrong. They need help.
I am begging you, if you want to do something good for someone this holiday season, please- donate to organizations who are on the ground helping people in Aleppo. Donate to organizations helping refugees. Help when and where you can if you can’t afford a donation- speak up when you hear intolerance, offer to volunteer for a local group that is involved in these causes. We can’t just sit by and do nothing. This is not entertainment- these people exist, they need more help than they are getting, they do not deserve this fate.
A list of US-based organizations helping refugees can be found here. If you are not in the USA, you can Google your country’s aid organizations to find out who is out there able to help. If it were you trapped under those buildings, if it were you trying to flee the bombing, you’d want someone out there to help- not just to witness, not to send “thoughts and prayers”, but to send tangible help.