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Call for Compassion: From Atlanta to Aleppo

Call for Compassion: From Atlanta to Aleppo

Author Basel Allaw by

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Rahimi Saidan

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The hundreds of airstrikes that have targeted Aleppo in the past 2 weeks have taken the lives of resilient doctors, civilians, and rescue workers. However, these attacks are not new as hospitals, markets, IDP camps, schools, and aid centers have been systematically targeted since the beginning of the Syrian uprising.

Our communities have unfortunately been silent in the face of what is probably the greatest continued slaughter of civilians of our generation. In the wake of recent attacks on Aleppo, we wanted to emphatically and resoundingly end this shameful silence.

“Enough is enough,” says CAIR Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, “The Syrian regime is slaughtering an entire city before our very eyes. We must oppose this massacre with our actions, our resources, and our words before Syria becomes the Rwanda of our generation.”

As the greatly venerated Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” And in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and Atlanta, we have decided to vociferously support our Syrian brethren so that they are protected and their demands for freedom and liberty are fulfilled.

"The least we could do is show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Syria, especially those residing in Aleppo.” said Emad Sabbah, the march organizer.

“We felt that, as citizens of Atlanta and as members of the greater human family, it was incumbent upon us to express our unwavering solidarity with the brave people of Aleppo.”

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also said: “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.” For many participants, our march this upcoming Friday is also an embodiment of this hadith, demonstrating that, although we may be 6,000 miles away, we are one body and the human ties that bind us will never be severed.

In addition to expressing our solidarity, other goals of this march include:

  1. Capturing the energy and momentum of this march to fuel long-term sustained aid projects, such as fundraising to finance education and medical supplies for refugees

  2. Raising awareness among local media outlets

  3. Reaching non-Muslim and non-Arab audiences

  4. Increasing institutional and political relationships between local stakeholders and political elites

“In order for Atlanta residents to contribute to the alleviation of Syrian suffering, we must combine and coordinate our efforts. We have to fight to make our compassion felt and a fist is a lot stronger than a few fingers,” says Abbas Barzegar, an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University. We hope this march marks the beginning of greater civic and community action—action that is becoming of a rich city like Atlanta.

Pictures of the event courtesy of Rahimi Saidan

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