Help Syrian Yassen Feed his Family

Hello, my name is Ahmad Shamaly, and I am writing this appeal on behalf of my friend Yassen, of the Abu Saeed family, still trying to eke out a life in Syria. Snippets of the devastation in Syria continue to flash across our TVs. It’s too complicated to wrap our minds around and far too tragic to watch. And yet, real people are still suffering.

I am Syrian. A few years ago, my family's apartment near Damascus had been blown up, and we were living in Istanbul until we were able to immigrate to Canada and move to Toronto.

We know several more back home who still badly need help to feed their children. I want to share this desperate plea with you from my friend Yassen, who is helping to care for 28 children in Ghota, the besieged area near Damascus. I have set the goal at $5000, which will provide food and schooling for the children for approximately 3-4 months.

I will be sending the money through a friend who lives in Turkey, since unfortunately I cannot directly wire money from Canada to the area in Syria where Yassen lives due to banking regulations.

Yassen writes:  “This family was an example of love and intimacy until the black day of September 4, 2012, when this horrible war came to my neighbourhood and three of my brothers were killed: Said, Samer, and Bilal. They were executed by the regime without mercy, even though they had never been affiliated with one of the warring parties or any political organization. Each of them has large families. The first had six children, the second had four, and the third had three.

Three months later, the siege began, which prevented the entry of food. There was no food or water. The children cried all time and could not sleep because of hunger. The food was very expensive because it was so rare, so we spent all our saved money within one month in order to feed the 28 boys and girls in the family, all weak from hunger and illness.

Now, malnutrition is getting more severe, and one child, Hajer, who was in her third year of school, is now unable to walk and her weight is approximately 4 kg. None of the children have been to school in five years. Before, my Mom used to cook a big meal for all the family; now no food can be delivered to us, and if delivered we cannot pay due to the high price these days.

We are human beings under siege. The fighting has intensified over and over, and we long-suffering people are bearing the brunt of this utter devastation.

Now, the war is approaching its seventh brutal year, and the bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens, and the situation is still getting worse. We are without income and with large expenses, and we rely solely on donations and borrowing from friends outside the country.

I do not know if still we have hope. At least we did not die yet."

Please make a donation of any amount to help Yassen feed his large family, especially the children.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your time and consideration.

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Ahmad Alshamaly 
Etobicoke, ON