09/21/2016, 16.21
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For Caritas, Syria has become a football field where big powers use the innocent as a ball

by Sandra Awad*

Fighters are destroying infrastructure, factories and buildings with their "big shoes". Displaced people, food shortages, education, migration, abandoned seniors and children playing at war are the consequences of the conflict. More than aid, people just want peace. The spokeswoman of the Catholic charity sends a letter for International Day of Peace.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - In Syria major world powers are playing "a football game" in which "the Syrian people" is used as a "ball". Those fighting are "destroying" infrastructure, buildings, factories and "crushing" people with their "big shoes", writes Sandra Awad. The 39-years-old married mother of two children, is in charge of communications for Caritas Syria. She sent an appeal in a letter to AsiaNews for International Day of Peace.

Listing the tragedies caused by the war, the spokeswoman for the Catholic charity, which plays a leading role in helping victims, notes that the one thing that really matters to people is peace. “We all dream of a day when we wake up in the morning to find out that the fighting between us has stopped, and that we don’t need to be afraid anymore from the big shoes of the football players, as the game is over”.

Established on 30 September 1981 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the International Day of Peace is celebrated every year on 21 September. According to the UN, this is supposed to be a day for peace and non-violence, in which nations and people at war are called to cease hostilities at least for the whole day. This is why it is also known as the ‘day of ceasefire’. Here is the appeal by the head of communications for Caritas.

Dear Partners and friends,

When we hear the news talking about the truces made between countries about Syria, or the decision of some countries to support some armed groups inside, or the agreements of ceasefire made by foreign governments, or training and sending more fighters to Syria, or the foreign fighting airplanes flying in our sky without permission, we always feel ourselves watching a football game between the big powers of the world on the Syrian land and using the Syrian ball “the Syrian people”.

Unfortunately, what is happening during this game is that the players are destroying with their big shoes while playing the infrastructure, buildings, factories and are crushing the Syrian people, especially the poor ones who became the majority.

After almost six years of war, we as Syrians are exhausted. This war is not only destroying our country, but it is destroying our souls from inside. The war knocked every door in Syria, entered every house, and left behind its traces everywhere, and in every heart….

War made most of us displaced in our own country after we lost all our belongings, our childhood memories and our past….

War let us feel insecure all the time even if we are in our own houses…

War made most of us poor, not being able to buy life necessities or bread for children…

War entered our families from inside, splitting them apart, and causing disintegration…

War made education an unreachable dream for our children and youth…

War made our streets full of homeless people, especially the small ones, the children…

War closed the foreign companies, embassies, destroyed our factories and left most of us without work…

War is increasing the prices of goods and the burden of our lives every day…

War deprived us from electricity, medication and clean water, and took us back to the Stone Age…

War made us shrive during winter without being able to heat ourselves or our children…

War is forcing us every day to say goodbye to our beloved ones who decided to immigrate, especially our young people…

War left our elderlies without anyone to take care of, without dignity in their last period of life…

War let the fighting game be the most amusing one for our children; it entered their discussions, their way of thinking, their playing and hurt their innocent childhood…

The list is very long of the war results on us, and our needs are huge now, especially during this time of the year. The winter is coming, and the schools began recently, which press economically on every Syrian family.

Unfortunately, without our support as Caritas, and the other active NGOs in Syria, a lot of families cannot survive anymore. A lot of families are depending on us, and we always feel that our support is like a drop of water in front of all this thirst. We offer food, medication, rent allowance, clothes, education support, elderly support, and psycho-social support through our projects, but when we ask our beneficiaries about their most urgent need, we mostly will hear this word: PEACE!

All of us need peace to be able to rebuild ourselves, our lives, and our country. We all dream of a day when we wake up in the morning to find out that the fighting between us has stopped, and that we don’t need to be afraid anymore from the big shoes of the football players, as the game is over…

* In charge of communications for Caritas Syria

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