The Revolution Continues
March 15th 2011 commemorates the day hundreds of brave Syrian souls took to the streets to fight for basic freedoms that they have been denied. Three years in, after daily encounters with bullets, bombs, and eventually chemical weapons, the fight continues. You’d think that after this long, the oppressed would be exhausted and weak, or would have given up entirely. But that is definitely not the case for the young Syrian men and women, the fathers and mothers, and the young children, who have given up everything they have except for one thing: their fight.
This year, on the weekend of March 15th, people from all over the country, regardless of race, religion, or country of origin went to Washington and stood outside of the White House to show support for the Syrian people in their three year long fight. Two years ago, it would have made sense to say that the fight was for freedom. Now, it has become a fight for humanity. Over 150,000 people have died in this conflict, and millions have been displaced due to the brutal actions of the Assad regime, while the rest of the world has simply been watching.
On our way to D.C., the leader of our group reminded us to make our intentions and keep them in mind the entire time. He reminded us that we were going for Allah, and for the Syrian cause, and not just for an early spring vacation. This put everyone in the appropriate mindset, and reminded us all of the reason we were going in the first place.
During the rally, chants like “Down, down with Assad” and “Act, act USA” were repeated multiple times as we marched down the street, holding up flags and signs. It felt great to see people of all different ages and backgrounds, who had never crossed paths before, unite for one cause. Then afterwards, during the fundraiser, a little girl convinced her dad to donate $1,000, which is not a small amount of money. When asked why she thought her dad should donate, she said something that made a lot of people smile: “The kids in Syria need it more than we do”, which could not have been more true. Children in Syria have had their lives ruined: they go to sleep and wake up to the sounds of violence, they no longer go to school, and for many, their families are no longer complete.
Overall, I think this trip was a bittersweet experience. Even though I loved the feeling of strength and unity between everyone there, and would love to experience it again, I would never wish for what is happening in Syria to continue for another year. What I would wish for though, is that inshaAllah the next time we gather again for Syria, it will be in Syria itself, celebrating our victory against the brutal dictator Bashar Al-Assad.