My task for the Syria Valentine project was to figure out how to get in touch with "the Syrian Revolution." Needless to say I was a little intimidated. Locating and connecting with activists, conveying the project's sentiments, and finding a way to get our words of support to people on the ground was challenging. A week and a half ago, I never would have dreamed we would be able to make such a human connection purely though the internet, social media and email. But just since Amanda's blog was posted yesterday, we have received even more feedback from Syrian activists about our Valentine! The words are so heartfelt that I just had to share it with you.
"Hi Julia... Thanks a lot for all your efforts as well! It was a great experience to go through all those comments of all those great souls. I'm sorry I couldn't contact you earlier than this, but it was difficult for me to send the card yesterday as the internet was really bad and we experienced a 12-hour power cut, believe it or not! As for me, I loved the whole experience and as I mentioned in my blog 'I just want to thank the global spirits who initiated and signed the card. I'm proud of them just as much as they are proud of the Syrian people. I'm also proud of all who can support the Syrian with a feeling, a prayer, a piece of action, or more!' and I want to add that I feel that this is what it's all about as the big word here is COMPASSION...Thanks again Julia, from my heart."
Despite Internet difficulties, Mariya managed to get some reactions to our Valentine from Syrian activists on the ground. Here are some of the responses she received:
"Reem is a fellow activist from Homs whom I don't know personally but we met over the net since the start of the revolution. She deals with people on the ground in Homs and works in humanitarian aid as well, and she said [of the Valentine]: 'It was a fantastic and lovely surprise to all those encouraging comments... I was so moved I closed my eyes and imagined shaking hands with all those who signed and commented... we love you back, and we have millions and millions of thanks for all who could remember or help us!' She also mentioned that she loved Ginger's comment from Decatur, AL: 'The Syrian people are the heroes of the world. We love you, we believe in you, and we stand with you for freedom and against tyranny.'It was of course in Arabic and I did the translation."
"Abdul-Kareem from my city Latakia loved Jane's comment from Bisbee, AZ:'I am ashamed of the government that has taken over my country. I am not the only one here who feels this way. The people are with you, sorry our government is so immoral,' because he shares her opinion, and also Barbara's comment from Denver CO 'Inahalla you will be free by Ramadan,' because he thought it was sweet."
With your help, we were able to bridge language, cultural and geographical barriers to send a message of love and support, and that amazes and inspires me. Our work is not done, nor will it be for a long time, but we have made a difference! Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible.