Dec.13, 2016. Bashar al-Assad’s government, backed by Russia, pillages the city of Aleppo, massacring innocent civilians, raping and burning women and children, and destroying a city, which once stood tall as the third largest and most prosperous metropolitan hub of the Ottoman Empire. Russian and Syrian officials claim that a ceasefire has been declared, yet many Syrian civilians are taking to social media to post their goodbyes and implore those with privilege to send help for their people. Seven-year-olds are giving real time updates, tweeting about surrounding destruction and their fast-approaching deaths.
My name is Bana, I’m 7 years old. I am talking to the world now live from East #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die. – Bana
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) December 13, 2016
As of this moment (10:04 p.m), few Western media sources have covered this pressing crisis. The information provided is new, unreliable, and possibly inaccurate. While I am unsure of how many casualties result from the siege in Syria, I can definitively tell you that Taylor Swift turned twenty-seven today and with meticulous precision, I can outline the fruitful and relevant conversation between Kanye West and Donald Trump that took place this morning.
Dec.19, 2016. In the past six days, I have watched countless videos highlighting the obscene lack of resources to treat fatally injured women and traumatized infants. People are sharing these horrific videos to bring attention to the northern city. Some Syrians were able to escape Eastern Aleppo, but many innocent civilians are still trapped within the confines of oppression. More Western media sources have covered this situation, the recently reported news is more accurate, but most of the details I personally gathered are from Al Jazeera and the videos shared by survivors in Aleppo.
Although the media coverage is ramping up, many people I know and see everyday are completely oblivious to the genocide that is currently taking place. Three thousand civilians are scrambling to get out of Aleppo, to evade an inevitable, bleak fate. Three thousand people are in danger of being brutally murdered. If this doesn’t alarm you or strike you as grave humanitarian crisis, then it is time to reevaluate your understanding of the basic workings of society
— Masoud (@masoud9516) September 29, 2016
The bloodbath in Syria rivals the 2015 Paris attacks, the 2008 Mumbai bombings, and some people even compare it to the Holocaust. This state of affairs is heartbreaking, yet there isn’t nearly as much talk or broadcasting surrounding Syria as there was with the two tragedies listed above. I will not get into the reasons for this, as that discussion is counterproductive at the moment, but I will link a couple websites where you can contribute a small amount of your time to help.
I know it seems as though there isn’t much we can do to alleviate this remote disaster, but please, talk about Aleppo. Give the city the attention and concern it deserves. Just by speaking out, you will not have a direct impact, but history has proven time and time again, that when the world silently stands by and watches in times of need and desperation, the repercussions of the silence are immeasurable.
– Neha Dronamraju – Asst. A&E Editor