How about some grassroots advocacy for media enthusiasts? Also, you'll read in this article letters sent to me from two Syrian-Americans. If you wish, you can take inspiration from those two letters, which were meant to inspire the public to write to their own representatives.
One of the issues is how few Americans know Syrians, Syrian immigrants, and Syrian Americans and their issues. Syria is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation, and in America the various ethnic groups who have Syrian origins are joining together in favor of a democratic Syria. How much does the average person on the street really know about Syria or the Syrian Diaspora--or each of the world's ethnic groups in Diaspora in America or elsewhere?
As the United States Congress began the debate on Monday, September 9, 2013 on the authorization of US Action in Syria, the Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) held a series of events in support of US Action. Events included a rally, advocacy day, and a vigil in remembrance of those killed in the chemical weapons attack.
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) explains in a September 8, 2013 news release, “We believe that US Action in Syria is the only way to hasten the fall of the Regime and end the killing of innocent civilians. If the United States does not respond to the blatant use of chemical weapons against the civilian population, it sets a dangerous precedent that dictators around the world can act with impunity with no consequences.”
CDS supports President Obama's decision to take a firm stand and action against the Assad regime, and urges the US Congress to make the right decision and vote for intervention in Syria. Are you coming to the debate tomorrow?
Here are the schedule of events.
At 11:00 a.m. began the "Rally to Stop Assad’s Merciless Killings in Syria." If you're in Washington, DC, the location is the East Front of Capitol Hill. Hours are from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. The event is called "Advocacy on Capitol Hill."
The at 7:00 p.m. there's the Vigil for the "Victims of the Chemical Weapons Massacre killed in the August 29th Chemical Massacre." The location for the Vigil was announced at the morning rally.
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is multi-ethnic and wants democracy in Syria
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a group of Syrian-American non-profit organizations working together to bring about a swift end to the conflict and support the establishment of peace, freedom, and democracy in Syria. The CDS is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, non-partisan organization.
The CDS includes grassroots organizations such as: the Syrian Emergency Task Force, United for Free Syria, Syrian American Council, Syrian American Alliance, Syrian Expatriates Organization, Syrian Christians for Democracy, and Association of Free Syrians.
Various religious groups also have gotten together to pray for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world. There are initiatives developed by various partners in a wide variety of churches and interfaith groups. The goal is to see an end to violence so peace can take root again. The various groups hope that the Syrian leaders, American leaders, and people around the world will choose dialogue and negotiation in their call to interfaith prayer. Check out the sites such as the Global Ministries sites. The question is whether anti-war protestors know very little about Syria? Also check out the Facebook page of the Kafr Nabl Activists who focus on informing the media.
Various ministries of churches have called for a day of prayer recently, such as the Global Ministries organization. Various letters that the people have signed onto related to the current situation in Syria are found on the Global Ministries website. Also see the Global Ministries communication site.
Whatever side you're taking, check out the YouTube video of an activist in Canada who went to an anti-war in Syria protest and asked people basic questions about Syria.You also can contact your representative and senators to express your support for the President’s request for authorization to act against Assad. Find your Representatives’ phone numbers and email contact forms here. The site helps you write to members of congress and to find your area's representatives so you can write letters. Or you can write your representatives a letter. Click Here for a sample letter/email.
You also could request to meet with the Congressperson and their staff in your district. Click Here for a one-page leave-behind with key points. Click here for tips and advice on meeting with your representatives. Or write a letter to the letters to the editor section of your daily newspaper. Well-written local letters have an important impact on Members of Congress and public opinion. Click Here for a guide on writing and publishing letters to the editor. The point is that the media can bridge the communication between you and those you want to tell your side of the news. Media is culture.
Or you could write this type of letter to your representative? (Sent to me by an American Syrian mother):
Dear Mrs. Michelle Obama:
I ask you in an absolutely professional manner in the names of all the women and children in Syria who ache from the worst torture and killing the Middle East has ever seen. I am writing this after it has been clear that the majorities of Syrian women have lost faith and hope in your husband, the President of the United States of America, and after trying to convince him to help the Syrian people that we ask you to look at the Syrian people with an eye and heart of mercy and sincerity as human beings.
We urge you to disregard race, religion, color, and ethnicity because the fact of the matter is clear. People are dying. From the eyes of any mother, it is absolutely unbearable to imagine seeing a child getting hurt, let alone getting tortured in the cruelest ways or even being killed in front of their eyes. Not only is it inhumane to do such a thing, but it is even worse to allow it to happen with open eyes and a silent mouth. You without a doubt have witnessed the atrocities that have been committed against the innocent Syrian people who demand the same rights that the people of the Untied States have evidently taken for granted. It is cruelty to allow this to happen and it is absolutely unjust.
Taking into consideration that the United States of America is the only superpower left with the morality and capability to help, and knowing the responsibility thus lies in the hands of them, and in order to live up to the founding fathers’ high moral standards, we urge you to help the Syrian people through your husband’s high power.
I am one of the many Syrian American women who were born in America but have been raised in Syria as a child. While there, I remember nothing more than absolute kindness, and hospitality towards me solely because I was American. The people are known for their generosity and love for others. They were happy to make me, the American girl, one of them by giving me all I needed to be happy and comfortable.
Now I am absolutely humiliated decades later when being asked when the help will return from my home nation and standing without a decent response. I am sorry to say that I find such difficulty in representing the true American values without having any substantial evidence of the United States aiding my friends and family and all others in Syria during their time of need. I thank the United States government for being hospitable to refugees, but I still am appalled by the lack of help being given to children who die by the hundreds, daily.
Mrs. Obama, we are all humans living on this earth, and politics no longer matters while innocent children of innocent parents are being mutilated and killed every day. You, Mrs. Obama, are a woman of high status and influence and you must urge your husband to take action and aid the Syrian people to bring an end to the murders and the ethnic genocide.
It is the moral duty of any God fearing man, woman, or any human being who stands in the position to help to do all that they can to aid those in need. This is not a fight of politics, but a fight for what is right. You, Mrs. Obama represent what is left of mercy and compassion in an ever evolving and cold hard United States government. Take advantage of the position and do what is right. Enough is enough.
God bless you and God bless the United States of America.
Here is a letter sent to me by a Syrian-American medical doctor, Mohamed Kawam, M.D., asking the American public to support President Obama in the president's decisions.
Dear fellow citizen:
Imagine yourself living in country like North Korea, Cuba, or Syria. I am sure you going to feel stripped from your basic human right , and degraded as a human being. During the last 50 years the Syrian people were living under the rule of the worst dictator ever seen in the recent decades.
Since 1980, the Assad 'father' committed many massacres. The largest was in Hama when he killed more than 45,000 civilians. After the Assad son took over Syria, his father's way killing, imprisonments, exiles, for anyone who opposed his dictatorship continued.
Since March 2011, the Syrian peoples began peaceful demonstrations on a weekly basis
And Assad's response was to kill people in hopes of trying to frighten them. During the initial six-month period, he killed more than 11,000 people and imprisoned more than more than 45,000.
After that demonstrations came more often, and spread out all over Syrian cities, which made Assad so mad and increased his killing, atrocities, and imprisonment of 200,000 people. Many cities were destroyed and a lot of villages leveled to the ground completely.
Thousands women and teenagers were raped, children murdered. Assad continues to kill. The Syrian nightmare was described as the worst humanitarian tragedy in recent time with two million refugees, and more than five million displaced people in Syria
Now, since the last year and a half, Assad was using WMD specifically chemical gasses. On Augest 2, 2013, Assad became bolder, and attacked a few areas around Damascus with serin gas which resulted in killing 1800 people , injuring 7000 , many of them in critical condition. More than 480 children were killed in this attack. Intelligence indicated that the regime forces was behind the attack.
Dear fellow citizens, As a Syrian knowing this regime and its mentality and psychology, Assad will not stop from using this WMD against his people or even against the neighboring nations such as Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Israel. On higher scale, this regime should punished and stopped completely, and they should know that they can't violate the international law and human rights without serious consequences, (and preventing them to use it forever).
This kind of job needs a strong leader, who can setup the rules in this world and keep it to protect humanity. And President Obama takes this responsibility with a full strategic political mindset of this action . As an American citizen, I ask you to support the president in this action, because doing nothing means waiting for much worse disaster reaching everybody in the area ,including our vital international interest.
Mohamed Kawam, M.D.