Friday, 24 February 2012

Syria


For one reason or another I have spent quite a lot of time in Syria. I was not initially that interested in it, but just by getting to know it better, I grew to love it and love the people there.

It particularly struck me how nice the children were. Nearly all of them that I ever met were cheerful, friendly, helpful (though sometimes quite mischievous) well loved and cared for, and seemed to have strong bonds with their friends and neighbours. They lived in their own little child world, playing in the streets around their home, wandering round with their friends, running errands, chatting to adults and not needing much adult care when they were out playing, because on the whole everybody, including older kids, adults and passers by, looked out for the small ones.

So when I look at this picture, taken in Homs a couple of years ago, with the balloon seller in the background, and the kids all busy with their slide and their games, I feel very sad because you can read about things in the papers, but they don't really make an impact until you relate it to something in real life. I don't want to depress anyone and I don't get involved in other peoples' politics, and I don't want to freak people out but I can't bear it to hear that government forces are now reported to be specifically targeting children. I hope that is not so.

I don't know what to do except remember to keep supporting the Red Cross and the other brave people who try to help. UK Red Cross donations can be made here, US Red Cross donations here

46 comments:

  1. Thnk you for reminding us that statistics and bland news itms are about real people. Each one of whom is so special. Targeting children sounds like the ultimate barbarism.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a wonderful photo and a great reminder to do our share to help the children. Thank you, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here in America, the national news was showing about this. The piece included how there was a toddler dying and there was nothing the doctors could do about it because of the shooting.
    It made me cry along with his parents :o(

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jenny, I have been reading many articles about the situation in Syria, namely Homs, in my weekly paper (the "ZEIT"), and just today I read the current one and then later saw a report from Homs on TV. Both of it made me almost physically sick, and I do hope that the conference today will bring some results. This has been going on way too long. Well, even just one minute of it would have been too long!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. A very sad situation over there, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Let there by peace on Earth and let it begin with me."

    That is a beautiful photo that you have posted here, and I have captured in my mind's eye and will return to it when I hear the word "Syria". May God help those children.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Jenny thank you for posting this. I means a lot to read your words. It is just so sad.
    I love your photo. Seeing the innocence and happiness of children - life can be so cruel at times for them. xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy photo . . . sad realities of today. I can't bear to think of it . . . doesn't seem right at all! Not our precious little ones . . . why can't we be peaceful worlds . . .

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your photograph serves as a testimony to what is precious in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  10. A lovely photo and it does bring the awful situation in Syria home a little more. I watched the long report they did on Marie Colvin the other night and the worst part of it, apart from the fact that it was being done because she had been killed, was film of a baby injured and unable to be saved. So sad.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful shot, Jenny!

    It totally captured the 'energy' of that moment, because I could feel it just from looking at your photograph.

    And thank you for sharing the reminder AND the link.

    Have a great weekend, dear lady!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you
    for beautifully showing
    the difference
    between
    "News" & "Politics"
    and Human Right!

    Bless You

    Aloha from Waikiki
    Comfort Spiral

    >< } } ( ° >
    ><}}(°>

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really don't understand and this is so sad.
    How sad that you have been where the bombing is so bad.

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
  14. p.s.
    I keep forgetting to tell you how lovey your header photo is.

    ReplyDelete
  15. this is heartbreaking; the stories behind the broadcasts. Praying for those families and children now.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I had to stop watching the news about Syria (the same report others have mentioned with the baby)I just don't understand how or why people can be so vile especially to children.
    I love your photo and hope so much that the children can have peace again x

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ah war is easy to start but not to finish. Poor kids.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Children are always naive and beautiful...and always at the mercy of adults' mistakes or lack of tolerance.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's the innocent, and especially the children, who have to suffer the indignity of what is going on, now and in later life. My heart weeps for them. Thank you for showing this happy picture.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I look at a picture like that, of kids innocently enjoying themselves, and I think, what on earth did they do to deserve the present conflict and brutality? And if you're right that children are being deliberately targeted, that's truly sickening.

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's fine to upset us, and depress us. The fighting in Homs is terrible - and we should be angry, and we should feel a sense of helplessness. Thanks for the Red Cross links.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful, painful photo. I've tried to understand this conflict, but I can't. Men's squabbles.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello, Jenny.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful and happy photo with lovely children and a balloon seller.I love it.
    I hope that children are safe and happy.
    This post brought me to the time I visited Myanmar country. I had two chances to visit Myanmar 8 years ago.
    It was a personal trip as my family has close friends in Myanmar. I had similar feeling as you had in Syria. I was very impressed with the peaceful, natural and beautiful land, as well as the Buddhist monks praying, the kind people and the cheerful children. I have only a few knowledge about Myanmar's politics and the problems they are facing. However, I feel so sad whenever only the bad side of Myanmar is reported.

    RedRose

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a lovely photo. Thank you for sharing.

    And targetting children? That's indeed horrific!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I echo all the sentiments above.
    We have always wanted to go to Damascus.....sad sad.
    Loved your photo of happier times.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jenny, When I saw the photograph my heart fell. I see the smiles and joyful play in your picture.....I open the newspaper and the smiles disappear. I pray daily for peace and safety for the children. Thank you! Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  27. It is impossible to comprehend how anyone for any reason would specifically target children, although children are so very often the hapless victims of indiscriminate violence. Scenes in the news are heartbreaking and horrific. Your lovely photo of carefree children is in stark contrast to current events and shows how dramatically things have changed. I heard the Red Cross has been getting some to safety but it is too late for many. There is much confusion as to what is going on but it is clear that innocents are suffering and dying.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I do hope the kids are not being targeted. That would be just too tragic.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The photo is lovely, the current situation on the other hand is heartbreaking. How hard it must be for you to watch the news unfold when you've actually been there.

    Darla

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you for sharing your precious experiences in Syria especially about children. To see your photo is much more convincing than to see TV news. And your words have a lot of reality without exaggerating anything.

    ReplyDelete
  31. what a beautiful image - heartbreaking to consider in light of the horrible reality of what's going on in homs today.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Dearest sweet Jenny, this is such an inspiring post! I love this photo and thanks so much for the reminder. Have a lovely merry happy sunday and love to you!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I've not had time to keep up with the 'news' in a while (shamefully), but your post made me look up the children-targeting issue. I just couldn't believe people are getting away with such behavior, I didn't even know to feel because it felt so incredible. I think I'm still in shock. Thanks for alerting me to this, its so easy to get caught up in one's own troubles, and forget about the world out there.

    ReplyDelete
  34. What Haricot said. Whether or not the children are being specifically targetted, their world is being attacked.
    I have no idea why Russia and China are blocking an intervention.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Children are the most skilled at finding joy in just about all circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm really concerned about Syria as well - a friend of mine has worked at the embassy in Damascus for a few months (he's just starting a career in foreign affairs) but was sent back home when the situation got out of control. Anyway, Marie Colvin (American journalist working for the Sunday Times) was killed a few days ago while covering the siege of Homs. Made me realise the dangers of the career I once wanted to embark on... I also realised that it's just the names of people from our part of the world that we read about... most of the people who've lost their lives in the Syrian uprising... we'll never know who they were. These are hard times, and I just don't understand how people in our part of the world can ignore what's happening over there. So don't you apologise for mentioning it.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I would tend to think kids are the same everywhere until their environment and circumstances change them either positively or negatively. It is definitely sad to hear about what is currently going on in Syria. I am glad you were able to experience it during better times.

    ReplyDelete
  38. you know...only a certain bit make the news...real people often dont...thanks for letting us glimpse them through your experiences...

    ReplyDelete
  39. children are like angels...they are mischievous yet so innocent... i hope and pray that they dont target the children...

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love Syria, too. I only felt good things from the people when I was there, and they were so happy to 'finally have peace'. Indeed, I went on a local trip,with Syrians, so it wasn't for foreigners, and they were so upbeat, dancing in the bus, dancing after lunch, celebrating the recent marriage of a young couple, tears in the eyes of two people I spoke to, who were so happy to be living in peace...until now.

    It is complicated there now. I do not know what or who to believe.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Yes, 222, it is complicated, I agree there are no easy answers because Syria is a very diverse country. I do think that doing anything to escalate the conflict even for the noblest of reasons risks even worse bloodshed.

    I do think it is particularly atrocious to target specific groups of helpless unarmed people. An inquiry for the UN Human Rights Council recently said it has a list of top Syrians who had ordered the death of unarmed women and children, shelling of residential areas and torturing of protesters in hospital. And Assad has sent his own kids out of the country.
    I hope one or two people will folow my links and contribute to the Red Cross or Red Crescent,aid agencies that are doing something to rescue the helpless, even though they are not able to do as much as is needed.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Beautiful picture, so alive. The children always teach me.
    hugs
    Natasha

    ReplyDelete
  43. The inhumanity of man to his fellow seems to know no bounds. When people say to me that these things cannot happen now what they mean is that they choose not to look beyond their own limited horizons. Sometimes I despair. However in order to survive most of the time I pretend. For someone who can relate the atrocities to reality you have a privilege and a burden. At least there is no one who has read your post who will not now be thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  44. How terribly sad. Humanity's cruelty never ceases to amaze me. Hatred is an ugly, vicious thing.

    ReplyDelete
  45. This is such an important post Jenny because it is so easy to see the world in terms of the "Other". Your photo brings home that this is not happening to other, different people but to those human beings, those little children.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Syria seems so distant so far away and so remote (I am in Canada) when we visit these places, or see pictures, and hear the words of people who have visited, it makes these places more real and that helps tie us together and unite us as a people. So many times we only know what is within our country, we forget we are all part of the big world.
    I think traveling and seeing places that are very much UNlike our own is very important. Thanks for sharing on your travel blog. Bless the children.

    ReplyDelete

Blog Archive