7 Years of Crisis: A Poem for Syria

Today marks seven years of crisis in Syria. For seven years, the Syrian people have been bombed, besieged and forced to endure one of the worst humanitarian crises in living memory. The recent intensification of violence and increase in military offensives has made the situation even more dangerous for ordinary civilians. Ordinary men, women, and children have borne the brunt of this conflict, they continue to suffer a war that does not seem to have an end in sight. The war continues to impact every aspect of life.

Islamic Relief USA continues to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people. Despite the situation in Syria having become increasingly dangerous, IR continues to operate on the ground through screened partners. Humanitarian work in and around the country has been a multi-faceted effort and Islamic Relief has been able to collect millions to help people inside Syria and neighboring countries which are hosting large refugee populations.

Over 400,000 civilians have died, 13.5 million need humanitarian aid, 6.5 million people face acute food insecurity, 1/3 of all schools are unable to provide education and 5.3 million people live in shelters without any cooking, heating, or washing facilities.

The statistics are beyond disheartening, and communities in the United States feel helpless as the situation continues to deteriorate. Alongside the efforts of humanitarian organizations like Islamic Relief, many have been moved to use whatever resources they have to help. A resource which cannot be underestimated is the power of one’s voice.

Today on ReliefLab on the 7th anniversary of the crisis in Syria, we want to share a poem by the talented Tariq Touré. It’s a reminder to those who feel helpless to never forget the power of your words, and to never stop speaking out against injustice in whatever language and in whatever medium you can.

7 Years Syria - Islamic Relief USA

If the children return
with atom bombs for eyes,
bellies filled to brim with indifference
cursing a womb they fell from
burning the eulogies of their ancestors
it is the soil that will pay the price

when the children return
having learned to swim in an acid ocean
believing the stars are scattered omens
knowing the rattle of mortar fire
better than voices of their cousins
will we curse the footprints they adopt?

If the children return
in acquiescence with the sky closing
well-adapted to darkness’s calloused palms
and have no measure for when day breaks
clothed in skin stitched from their fathers backs
it is the crops that will mourn their ghosts

when the children return
with appetites for gunpowder and steel
when they no longer fear our voices
because our breath smells of silence
if they conclude the world sat and watched
it is their thunder we will have to endure

“Flowers in Aleppo”

Syria 7 Years - Islamic Relief USA

Article written by:

Chancey is the Editor-in-Chief for ReliefLab and a Content Creator at Islamic Relief USA. We would love to feature your voice on the blog – send us a message at relieflab@irusa.org.

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