On Tuesday December 13th, while majority of Americans on social media and news media were focused on the 15 minute meeting between President-Elect Donald Trump and Kanye West, Aleppo was being attacked again. I had two finals that day and in between the two finals, I was on Twitter. The only thing I saw as I scrolled through my news feed was the meeting between Trump and West; I did see one tweet about Aleppo, however, and it said: “Why are we worried about Donald Trump’s meeting with Kanye West with what’s currently happening in Aleppo?” After my finals, I walked into my apartment and my roommate made a comment about how no one seems to be paying attention to Aleppo, but we care so much about Trump and West having a 15 minute meeting. Where we are directing our attention is very disappointing.
The little amount of coverage about Aleppo got me thinking, and I realized something. Last year, when the attack on Paris happened, news stations like CNN had continuous live coverage of the incident during and after. For the following month, Americans showed their support to Paris by adding a French flag filter to their profile pictures and using the hashtag “Pray for Paris.” Aleppo is the capital of Syria, and because of their role in the current civil war, they have had a number of attacks within the last few months. I, personally, have seen little to no coverage on news stations such as CNN or Fox until the last week or so. I haven't seen any hashtags. I haven't seen anyone showing their support to the city. I haven't seen any tweets or media surfacing about Aleppo. When I did a google search on Aleppo, I found a forum where an individual said that there was nothing we could do to help Aleppo. I also saw another individual say that said that we weren't surprised that the attack happened because we already knew that they were in a civil war and had previous attacks. Are we becoming desensitized to violence? What’s the difference between Aleppo and other attacks like Paris? Why aren't we showing our support to Aleppo?
The Paris attack, like September 11th and the most recent attack on Berlin, was unexpected. The attacks on Aleppo, however, are not unexpected. Aleppo has played a key role in the Syrian civil war. The city is the economic capital of Syria, and the city is the largest city in Syria.
Americans can get involved and help out with the ongoing tragedy in Aleppo. Innocent civilians are losing their lives. Civilians are being held hostage. A city is being destroyed. They need our support.
If you’re interested in helping, here are a few ways you can get involved:
1. Contact your local politicians and urge that they do more for the people affected by the conflict in Aleppo than they are currently contributing.
With the help of your local politicians, we can push them to do more than they are to help and support the Syrian people in Aleppo. We can urge them to send relief efforts, healthcare professionals to care for the civilians who were hurt by the war going on around them, and help evacuate the city of the civilians so that more innocent people do not lose their lives.
2. Donate to one of the relief efforts or charities providing treatment to Syrian civilians.
You could donate to the relief efforts of the White Helmets, International Red Cross, Save the Children, or Doctors Without Borders.
3. Stay informed on the work of Planet Syria.
Planet Syria, an activist organization which is seeking a diplomatic, nonviolent end to the civil war. Their website states that they are hoping to reconnect with the tolerance and coexistence they have known and build a Syria better than it was before the civil war with the help of their allies.
This speaks for itself. The civilians in Aleppo need a lot of prayer right now, and this is something that everyone can do to support the civilians of Aleppo. Prayer can lead to big changes; it can lead to miracles. So, if we all get together and take five minutes out of our day to pray for Aleppo, then we can start to make a change in the tragedy going on in their country.