Manchester loves Syria

Posted by Ali Sameer Regional Public Affairs Assistant - Oxfam North of England

22nd Jul 2013

Oxfam activists Ali Sameer and Carmel Ganner shared their love for Syria in Manchester at the Social Liberal Forum in Manchester. Here is their report of how the LOVE SYRIA campaign was welcomed. 

Syrian people are living the nightmares of ongoing civil war since April 2011. With mercury levels rising above 35°C in the middle of Ramadan, more than 4.25 million people inside Syria are displaced and 1.7 million are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries- and most of them are children. The crisis is worsening with 200,000 new refugees every month.

Business Secretary Vince Cable joins Ali and Carmel to show support for the LOVE SYRIA campaign

Over 100,000 people have lost their lives in Syria since the inception of conflict. And sadly the numbers are only doomed to rise.  An eye for an eye will make the world blind.  

Oxfam is asking people to Love Syria and push President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama to deliver the promises made during the G8 in Northern Ireland and make a peaceful resolution for this disastrous conflict happen. Our support is needed, now more than ever.

That is why Carmel and I ended up at the Social Liberal Forum at the Friends' Meeting House in Manchester- determined to gain as much support as possible for our Love Syria campaign.

As soon as we arrived we started chatting about Syria with a fellow stall holder, Toby, who told us how one of his best friend's family is coping with the conflict in Syria.. Toby's friend's family have not fled their homes yet, but live in uncertainty every day, unsure as to whether they will soon need to leave everything they have and all their loved ones behind.

He wanted some more information on how he could help and so we told him about the push for peace talks, the petition he could sign and the increasing need for humanitarian assistance.

Toby set a precedence for the day. Many of those who stopped by had links to Syria- some had lived there, others had travelled there or had friends there- and, so many people wanted to know how they could help.

John Leech MP for Withington shows his support for LOVE SYRIA with Ali and Carmel

We were also joined by Rt Hon Vince Cable MP and John Leech MP for Manchester Withington, and we had interesting conversations with them about the campaign. John Leech MP expressed his scepticism about the realistic possibility of obtaining peace anytime soon. He  also acknowledged the need to keep putting pressure on decision makers if we want to make it happen at all. 

This support is greatly needed- if you want to help put pressure for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria you can write to your MP- and use this template. For more information about how to contact your MP in the North, please contact Diane Porter dporter@oxfam.org.uk. And of course sign our petition to ask President Putin and President Obama to  set a date for peace- the time is now. 

Vince Cable joins Ali and Carmel to support LOVE SYRIA

Blog post written by Ali Sameer

Regional Public Affairs Assistant - Oxfam North of England

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