Rallying For The Children Of Syria

September 10, 2012 Thomas Nocera
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With the goal of rallying support and raising funds for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and their efforts to aid Syrian refugees, the anti-Assad and pro-democracy Syrian American Council held a 160-person strong rally on Third Avenue on Saturday, September 8.

The rally was part of a larger, nationwide event, which saw similar protests in a number of different cities. Gazwan Nomeh, one of the organizers of the Bay Ridge rally, said the intentions were simply to help refugees.

Many refugees camps on the country’s borders are subject to frequent attacks and children are dying daily he said, stressing, “The money will go directly to UNICEF. It will provide food, water, and shelter.”

The rally began in Leif Erikson Park and headed straight through to the 80s. While the event was mainly meant to raise money for UNICEF, the inevitable spattering of political opinion was obvious.

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Signs urged a stop to the killings, and greater intervention by the U.S. and U.N. Nomeh claimed many people simply wanted more action and less silence from the international community and the United States in particular.

While representatives could not give an accurate number on how much money was raised at this point, they did say the money has already been given to UNICEF.


Children were among the protesters.

Participants in the rally said they felt compelled to be there.  Eighteen-year-old Sara Alshenany, a recent Fort Hamilton graduate of Syrian heritage, she said she felt it was her duty to attend.

“My country is my country no matter where I am in the world,” she said. She hoped the rally would not just help raise money, but also increases awareness around Bay Ridge and Brooklyn to the plight of the refugees.

“We marched and sold bracelets and necklaces,” she said. “Sitting back and doing nothing is unacceptable.”

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