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CW: Civil War in Syria
Hello kind krafters!
I’m sure that many of you are currently aware of the Civil War occurring in Syria and on March 15th it entered the seventh year of conflict. I have heard countless news stories of events happening concerning the war and the refugee crisis but have never done much independent research on the situation. For one of my courses at Acadia this semester, my classmates and I are helping to create awareness of these issues through music. On March 27th there will be a concert raising money for a non-profit organization called The Tribe Projects (formerly known as The Tribe Turkey). The organization is located in Izmir, Turkey and they aim to aid displaced Syrian refugees within the city and the surrounding rural areas with initiatives that promote education, fair working conditions, and access to healthcare. Last year, the previous group of students were able to raise enough money to hire a teacher to work with children in a refugee camp, and we are hoping to continue what they started.
What has happened?
Syria’s Civil War is incredibly complex and continues to become even more intricate as more countries and groups get involved. To try and understand what has happened in the last seven years I have come up with a timeline that mentions a few of the key events that have shaped the war and refugee crisis.
2011 – There were several uprisings occurring in Arab countries that became known as the Arab Spring. These uprisings influenced Syrian activists to peacefully protest in their own country as anti-government demonstrations.
2011 – The first shots were fired under the direction of Bashar al-Assad (current President) killing and imprisoning hundreds of Syrians at these protests.
2011 – The Free Syrian Army (FSA) was created by people who had left the military and the uprising soon became a civil war. Different extremist groups came to back both sides of the civil war and the situation became increasingly more complicated.
2013 – Assad uses chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.
2014 – ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) formed out al-Qaeda and began to overtake territory across Syria.
2014 – The Obama administration targets ISIS instead of Assad’s military groups.
2015 – Russia strikes to attack ISIS but hits the rebels fighting against Assad.
2016 – A ceasefire is put into action to allow for relief organizations to enter and assist civilians.
2016 – The Trump administration targets ISIS but instead, airstrikes hit Syrian soldiers.
2016 – Around 200 airstrikes hit Aleppo in one weekend and near the end of the year, Aleppo is overtaken by Assad and Russia. Aleppo was the last urban centre controlled by the rebels fighting Assad.
2017 – Chemical weapons were used again by Assad on civilians.
2018 – The United Nations unanimously agree on a thirty-day ceasefire in Syria.
These are just a handful of events that have happened over the past seven years. For a more detailed timeline please look at the following links:
The current statistics from Syria shows that this is the largest refugee crisis of our time. Over 11 million Syrians have been displaced with 13.1 million in need of humanitarian assistance. Out of the 11 million displaced Syrians, 5.6 million have fled the country, and 6.1 million are internally displaced (http://www.unocha.org/syria). Here is another timeline of key events that have occurred so far with concerns to the refugee crisis:
2011 – The Refugee Crisis begins as 5000 flee to Lebanon.
2011 – Turkey spent up to $15 million setting up camps for the refugees.
2012 – The United Nations called for a ceasefire and over 2500 Syrians cross into Turkey within one day.
2012 – The fighting in Aleppo resulted in around 200,000 people fleeing into Turkey.
2012 – A bomb killing Assad’s brother-in-law and some of his security officials causes extreme worry among Syrians and thousands cross into Lebanon.
2012 – UNHCR (United Nations High Comissioner for Refugees) reports that over 11,000 Syrians have fled into neighbouring countries in a 24-hour period.
2013 – UNICEF launches #ChildrenofSyria initiative.
2013 – Germany announces that they will resettle 5000 refugees and the following countries follow suit: Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA.
2014 – Jordan closes its borders to Syrian refugees.
2014 – The United Nations needs $16.4 billion to meet the demands of the 2015 Humanitarian Crisis.
2015 – There are more displaced people worldwide than ever before with a record 59.5 million people.
2015 – Around 500,000 Syrians successfully reach Europe by sea with thousands more refugees drowning on the journey.
2016 – Over 100,000 refugees reach Europe in less than two months.
2016 – There is another ceasefire to allow for relief efforts to enter Syria.
2017 – Over 5 million Syrians have fled the county.
2017 – Over 900,000 Syrians have been displaced in this year.
Some more resources to look at concerning the refugee crisis in more detail:
The Tribe Projects
This non-profit organization is made up of an amazing group of people who really give their all to the cause. I have copied in their description from their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thetribeturkey/) below:
“We are a small group of friends living in Izmir, Turkey. We work with displaced Syrians in the city and rural areas to devise sustainable programs. We realised there are gaps in support and we are doing our best to fill them!
There are signs of change in Turkey, but problems exist. Refugees have been given some rights. Access to education and medical support is improving, but limited. In reality, these changes are not well implemented. Language barriers & poor, exploitive working conditions of a mostly informal/illegal market mean economic opportunities are limited for Syrians.
Our core is about social values and we strive to resolve community problems.
Our work is a collaboration. Listening, interviewing and brainstorming the issues with those displaced and marginalised allows us to enact empowering social change. We involve Turkish businesses, international higher education partners, hire Syrian translators and are in constant consultation with those we aim to help.
Follow our story and help us help Refugees living in Turkey.
100% of our donations go back into our projects.”
My class hopes to raise enough money to continue the work started by the previous Acadia students. We would love to have many people attend our benefit concert to support the organization on Tuesday, March 27th at 7pm at Acadia’s Festival Theatre. All of the proceeds from this upcoming concert will go directly to The Tribe Projects, and will make a difference in the lives of these refugee families. If you are unable to attend the concert, please consider donating to the organization! If you are unable to donate, please continue to learn about what is happening in Syria and recognize how it affects us as world citizens.
Thanks for reading, kind krafters!!!
(Photos from The Tribe Projects)