People of Leeds turn their minds to Syria
A Syrian refugee living in Leeds, Fawaz Alghofari, held a vigil in front of Leeds Town Hall on Sunday for Syrian civilians affected by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Approximately 120 people turned up to the town hall steps on Sunday 17th January and supported the plight of Syrian people.
Residents in the beleaguered town of Madaya are just some of the civilians who have seen food supplies cut off with over 40,000 people now facing starvation and death. Reports issued by the WHO say that children are ‘too weak to play’.
Fawaz – who is a dentist by trade – was born in Damascus in 1970. He refuses to stand by and watch the disaster unfold further.
He said: “It was a great vigil on Sunday – about 120 people gathered on the town steps. It was so good to see everyone turn up actually and we could highlight what was happening in Syria.
“Many people came from Hyde Park Church and from Crossgates Church. It was a successful vigil. Members of the public were stopping and I made a speech that was about 25 minutes long.”
Fawaz continued: “I talked about the situation in Syria and why people were starving, why the city has been under siege, how long the city has been under attack and what we want from the British government.
“In order to help those people, we need to raise awareness amongst the British public. Everyone cheered when I talked about freedom and the idea of dropping food not bombs.”
The towns that are most in need of aid, such as Madaya, are surrounded by Syrian military and its allies, including the Hezbollah militia from Lebanon.
The United Nations estimates that more than 400,000 Syrian civilians are cut off from access to food supplies. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls the denial of food to the civilians a ‘war crime’.