18October2017

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION IN SPECIAL CONSULTATIVE STATUS WITH THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

OPEN LETTER TO THE ARAMEAN (SYRIAC) PEOPLE: URGENT CALL TO INVEST TOGETHER IN SYRIA QUESTON!

284042 367483509994426 1999473123 nOur dearest fellow countrymen,

We should like to draw your urgent attention to read this letter carefully. It is a wake-up call to all of us. We must realize the situation in the Middle East and decide how we can adequately respond to it.

It is no news to you why, how and with what devastating consequences the majority of our people have already escaped the lands of our ancestors in Southeast Turkey and Iraq in the last decades.

oday, our people are at another crucial crossroads. We cannot close our eyes and assume that the situation in Syria will be resolved by itself in an advantageous way for the Aramean (Syriac) people. Neither can we expect that the thousands of Aramean refugees are able to take care of themselves.

In the recent weeks, we have received numerous phone calls from Arameans (Syriacs) who are deeply worried about the lives of their relatives from Syria. They are going through a horrible nightmare in Syria or they have already escaped the country to one of the neighboring countries by paying huge amounts of money to human traffickers who are exploiting the dangerous situation in Syria. Both groups are experiencing humanitarian difficulties, knowing that the winter is about to visit them soon. 

Recently, the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) (“WCA”) visited a number of refugees in Athens, Greece. We keep contacting and supporting them and other refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. But we continue to receive on a daily basis calls from concerned relatives who ask our urgent support.

The major issues the WCA is discerning and actively working on include, but are not limited to:

  1. humanitarian aid: many are in need of basic human needs like shelter, water, food and clothing;
  2. legal aid: a growing number of refugees in Greece and Turkey are jailed for unclear reasons and their relatives inform us that they go through a hell in these prisons; 
  3. contacting governments and media: the discourse on the Syria crisis by the mainstream media and some state officials is disturbing and pays no serious heed to the vulnerability of minorities like the Aramean (Syriac) Christians in Syria who tell us that they are experiencing another Iraq.

Therefore, we must decide what we are going to do to help our refugees and how we will contribute to the discussions and solutions on Syria. We ask all Arameans – young and old, clergyman and layperson, man and woman, rich and poor – to answer these 2 questions with love and passion for their people:

  1. Am I idly standing by to discover each now and then via the media how many thousands of your own people in Syria flee for their lives, are being pushed out of their ancestral homes, are exploited by human traffickers…knowing that they, like those before them from Turkey and Iraq, will never return to the land of their ancestors anymore because they have lost everything?
  2. Or am I going to wake up my relatives and friends, decide to stand up together once and for all, strongly organize ourselves and show the true greatness of our ancient people to the world?


You may be aware of the numerous WCA activities in the last years. The Syria Question is one of them. Just recently, you may have seen the WCA speaking on Syria at the UN Office in Geneva, to which we also sent a larger statement. You may have seen us at the UN in New York for the General Assembly, where we met with the UN-Arab League Syria-Envoy, the Foreign Ministers of England and Australia, and several other senior officials (see below pictures). Or our exclusive Reports on the needy Aramean refugees from Syria.

Do our people realize that the WCA’s NGO status is unique among all the organizations of our people and that we, therefore, should invest in and empower the WCA? For example, the WCA can send our educated men and women to the UN to lobby for our people, to protect and promote its human rights. Without the WCA being present at the UN, we must know that nobody represents our people there! Especially concerning the situation in Syria, which is discussed at UN level, our presence is crucial.

Now, the WCA has a Syria Strategy ready to implement. But this can only be done with your support. After four (4) years of incessantly serving our people, we now kindly ask you to give back to the WCA so that the WCA can help our people more effectively, especially those in and from Syria.

DSC00914 Australian FM Bob  CarrOne of the things we hope for is to put 2 Aramean women fulltime at work on the Syria file. For this, we must raise EUR 30,000. If we can find just 1,000 self-aware Aramean (Syriac) men and women who are deeply concerned about their people in Syria and wish to help their people with an average donation of only 30 EURO (or more) per person, this will allow us to implement our Syria Strategy very soon! 

Kindly also inform your relatives and friends to invest in and empower the WCA, so that we can help our people in need still more. Now is the time to show your support to your people through the WCA.

Account number:      3967.30.620
IBAN number:           NL 71 RABO 0396 7306 20
BIC number:             RABONL2U
Bank:                          RABOBANK
Place:                         Enschede-Haaksbergen
Address:                    Postbus 115, 7500 AC Enschede, The Netherlands            

 


First Picture:
 WCA's Vice President & Human Rights and NGO Director, mr. Daniel Gabriel with UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria, mr. Lakhdar Brahimi
Second Picture: WCA's Vice President & Human Rights and NGO Director, mr. Daniel Gabriel with Foreign Minister of Australia, mr. Bob Carr at the UN Office in New York 

 

 

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