In an effort to preserve my mental well-being, I once made a decision to stop watching videos related to the massacres in Syria. I selfishly wanted to protect myself from the horrors of the conflict.

Many such videos of the deadly conflict are accompanied by graphic content warnings. Unlike the people experiencing these horrid scenes, we as viewers have the luxury of scrolling away. Yes, the world is unfair.

There is no better euphemism to say that people are unjustly dying. Around 500 civilians were killed this past week alone, during the bombardment of the Syrian city of Ghouta. According to BBC News, the victims included 121 children.

A death toll of 500 means that 500 dreams were crushed and 500 hopes for better lives were smashed forever. How many of these victims were parents who wanted to live until the day they saw their kids achieve greatness? And how many of these parents saw their own children die? What horrors did the children endure before reaching eternal peace?

The death toll is not just a number.

Among the 121 children, those who were younger than 7 hadn’t ever seen peace because they were born after the conflict began in 2011. Those who were older had seen the relative stability of pre-conflict Syria and had to undergo the transition into war.

How did we come to the point where we see news with huge death tolls on our Facebook or Twitter feeds and just keep scrolling down?

Imagine the scariest moment of your life being prolonged for an unknown period of time. Imagine what we think of a “normal death” becoming a luxury. This is the reality for the Syrian people, and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to it. The least we can do is share their stories. Everything counts — even the helpless “thoughts and prayers” post matters.

The least I can do is write this article.

I believe in the butterfly effect. I believe that even the smallest actions, like a post on Facebook, may motivate someone to change their career and possibly become someone who can help Syria. As silly as this may sound, it was this idea that gave me motivation to write this article. I believe that my article could have a bigger impact of some sort.  

Like UNICEF, which issued a blank statement on Syria saying that it had run out of words, I am speechless. This was a personal attempt to manifest my feelings of helplessness, anger, and sadness over the lack of reactions to the recent horrific massacre in Ghouta.

I know that we are only human and that we are programmed to get used to events as they recur. But we should always remind ourselves of what is beyond numbers, any numbers — people. Behind each number is the destruction of the hopes and dreams of thousands of people.

Tagged: Syria


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