Atlantans Send Prayers, Support To Aleppo Residents

This image released by Thiqa News Agency, shows civilians gathering for evacuation from eastern Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Syrian activists said residents in eastern Aleppo are starting to board buses and ambulances, the first step in an evacuation that is part of the rebel enclave’s effective surrender. (Thiqa News via AP)

Thiqa News via AP

An audio version of this story.

It’s nearly 7,000 miles away, but Syria is on the minds of many here in Atlanta.

That includes Jana Al-Nahhas who has visited family in Syria every year.

She says her Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of posts from people in Aleppo for a while, but their messages have taken on a new tone.  

“So sometimes you almost, it’s sad to say, but you get numb to it all, and then moments like these really, they just awaken your heart in some ways, and it’s really terrifying,” she said.

A rally called “Stand with Aleppo-Atlanta” is scheduled for Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta.

“It really is the responsibility of all of us, regardless of our backgrounds to help our brothers and sisters in humanity,” said Basel Allaw, an Emory student who is Syrian-American and plans to be on hand for the rally. “Because when anyone is oppressed, no matter where they are across the world, that means that we are oppressed as well.”

Allaw says one way people can help is to donate to the Syrian-American Medical Society, a vetted, nonprofit organization supported by the U.S. government that provides life-saving support to millions of Syrians.

And any sort of help is much appreciated for those suffering in areas like Aleppo.

“They just feel that the world has forgotten them and so, you know, we have a voice, we have government representatives that we can call and demand for our voices to be heard and for these voices to be heard,” said Holly Frew, with CARE Atlanta.

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