On Monday, September 9, 2013, the U.S. Congress will vote on a limited military intervention in Syria. Congress must show the world that America is not afraid to act when a brutal dictator continues to disregard U.S. warnings and defy international norms against the use of chemical weapons. U.S. action must be decisive and strategic enough to end the war in Syria and pave the way for transition to a post-Assad future, enabling Syrians to begin the difficult and important processes of reconciliation, reconstruction, and democratization.
This is a rare occasion. It is critically important that YOU take action and contact your Members of Congress THIS WEEK while they are in their home districts. This is a chance to not only punish Assad for using chemical weapons, but also to prevent the continued slaughter of innocent Syrian civilians, and pave the way for a political transition to democracy.
Written by SETF Media and Communications Director, Cassie Chesley about SETF’s civil society engagement with Syrian women.
One of the most rewarding aspects of SETF fieldwork is providing a space for Syrians of all backgrounds and religious orientations to meet and interact. SETF recently initiated programs with a focus on female empowerment and government training, mainly designed at encouraging and preparing women to engage with civil society and participate actively in local governance. Women from all over Syria, Idlib, Hassakah, Lattakia, Aleppo, and Homs attended a training on how to run for local office and good governance practices.
Welcome to Syria Media Roundup, a new Syrian Emergency Task Force blog that will attempt to provide some context to coverage of the civil-conflict in the Levant. We will examine the important Syrian-related events of the week, whether they happen on Capitol Hill, within the conflict zone, or in the NGO community. We hope this blog can function as a collaborative tool, both informing and starting a conversation with our readership.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. It is also the time of giving when Muslims offer their zakat or their charity. Here at SETF, our board members used this holiday to deliver gifts to children and a water pump to a village inside Syria to support to work of local councils in the area.
“We must not stand idle while our fellows bleed”
This was the statement, made by Jewish Syrian-activist Shlomo Bolts, that laid at the center of SETF’s Wednesday, July 31 interfaith event at the United Methodist Building in Washington D.C. This event, which was intended to engage communities of the major Abrahamic faiths with the humanitarian crises taking place in Syria, was a great success, with three enlightening speakers and an engaged audience made up of concerned members of the public and professionals of relevant background.