Linnea Bennett is a junior at Arizona State University studying journalism and political science. She is an intern with NGC this fall.
In March of 2011, protests broke out in Syria in response to the oppressive rule of President Bashar al-Assad. The protests led to fighting and the formation of a rebel army, followed by two years of intense violence and bloodshed. Syria’s civil war remains on-going as more of the country becomes engulfed in the conflict.
On this year’s World Humanitarian Day, my thoughts cannot help returning to a group of students at my home university, Arizona State University. These students have worked tirelessly in the last year to bring awareness to a situation that touches their lives very closely, despite the fact that it seems worlds away from most of their peers.
The students are a part of a group called Save our Syrian Freedom. Many of the club’s officers and members were either born in or have much of their family living in war-torn Syria. While these young activists may live in a nation of prosperity, their hearts stay with a country ravaged by violence.
I’ve watched the members of SOS Freedom raise money, paint signs, stage silent protests, hold vigils and do everything they can to spread the word about the violence and crimes their country has faced. They never stop working, even when few of their fellow students seem to care, even when the media won’t pay attention.
These students remind me why it is so important to be a global citizen. They have taught me to think of global issues not as textbook conflicts, but as events and problems that are affecting mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins and friends.
The world will always need more passionate, young activists like the SOS Freedom students, and I hope they continue their fight to educate our society on their country’s plight.
Cheers to SOS Freedom and the many world humanitarians on this special day.
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