Our Families is Besieged …

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PHOTO FROM EASTERN GHOUTA, BY Abd Doumany

In a Syrian Facebook Group, where many of us as activists filled with guilt because we are not besieged while nearly 400.000 people are. Many of those in the group are media activists. We constantly try to avoid answering the sad and honest question of “how the hell that 400.000 are being starved to death nowadays and the humanity, with all its advancements, is failing to do anything about it” with the obvious answers: blame and blame. We instead choose to face that question with a leap of faith that this is happening because politicians depend on ignorance. We try to convince ourselves that the siege continues unchallenged because the people inside Eastern Ghouta are besieged and can’t speak many languages beside Arabic to tell their stories. We, who are burdened with irrational guilt, decided that we can do it. We can lobby people around the world to support the parents of the patients who are watching their kids suffer while the treatment is only 10 KM away.

What can we do? The first question that crossed my mind was “what would I do if that were my kid in there, suffering from cancer and can’t reach her treatment?”. The obvious answer was “I will do anything”. I paused for a second, but even if this kid isn’t mine, he is someone else’s; from that moment, we decide to start a solidarity campaign as “#ourfamilyisbesieged”. We are activists, and we will try to advocate for some of the 572 urgent cases that need treatment in Eastern Ghouta. We are going to be part of their families – I don’t know who exactly is going to adopt whom: Us with the ability to move and speak up for the besieged families, or them who are going to be a family for us as forced migrants.

We are going to try to reach out to all officials, media and medical channels demanding safe access to treatment for the besieged people.

When we discussed the idea further, some doubt started to arise; some said we don’t have enough resources, our English is not that good and our AMAZING Syrian passport and complicated official papers is an obstacle.

But I think we do have something passionate and honest. We have faith in these kids’ smiles, ourselves, our cause and our rights, and above all we have faith in you.

You: the activists around the world who seek change for a better tomorrow that you don’t know if you will be around when it happens, but you fight your battle anyway.

You: the feminists around the world who are fighting not only for our rights as women, but for the voices of the underprivileged.

You: the journalists who are covering the truth, hoping that revealing it will make the earth a better place.

You: the parents who are trying to raise a new generation in such difficult times.

You: who are now sick or survived, and know what such pain may feel like.

You: the doctors who understand the importance of the human life and face difficult treatment choices daily.

We are not naïve, and our faith is not a “romantic” one. We know that all of you may be struggling your own battles, and you, like us, have doubts, lack tools and even sometimes question your real power. But above all of that, you wake up every day seeking a better world. A world in which no dictator can starve any kid to death.

Because of our faith in you, and us, we are going to try to carry the besieged voices. The military can have their check points, but we are still going to find a way to breakthrough it, because saving one life still matters.

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