The figures coming out of Syria since early 2011 have been stunning — in the worst way possible. Now, over a year-and-a-half after the Syrian Revolution began, the death toll has begun the grim crawl past 45,000 (mostly civilians). The government has arrested tens of thousands more. Over 400,000 refugees are registered in neighboring countries, with tens of thousands more unregistered. About 2.5 million Syrians need aid within the country.
It’s a bleak and a cruel picture that’s being painted, one that seems to get progressively worse with time. But what’s worse is the apparent apathy people seem to have toward the situation. Far more than the entire student body population of MU has died within scarcely more than a year, and no one seems to care. Though many governments around the world may have their metaphorical hands tied (due to political complications), we, the people, don’t.
And that’s why Global Issues Club picked Syria as their project for first semester this school year. Global Issues ventures that though the problem may be thousands of miles away in a country that’s nothing like our own, that’s not what matters. What matters is that lives are being massacred, and people are being deprived of those rights we call fundamental to being human: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Global Issues ventures that because of this deprivation, we all have a duty to help.
So, first semester, Global Issues decided to help by setting up several fundraisers that benefited an organization called Life for Relief and Development. The organization is a non-profit humanitarian charity that is “devoted to providing humanitarian aid to people regardless of race, color, religion and cultural background”. So Global Issues had pancake bake sales and game nights and movie nights to raise money for this wonderful organization, specifically toward the work it’s doing for Syrian refugees.
Though Global Issues Club may seem like a rather depressing thing to come to, it’s really not. Yes, we focus on helping people who are in grim situations, but we have fun while we’re doing it. We spend a few meetings learning about the situation, then we go about planning fundraisers and making posters and spreading the word.
You should come to Global Issues, every Wednesday evening from 7-8 p.m. Meetings are a lot of fun, never without great people or a ton of good food. Plus, you get to do your share in helping humanity out, and that’s never a bad feeling.
By Urmila Kutikkad