Statements & Reports

Reflections, gratitude, and hope

As we look ahead to next year, we know there’s much more we will do together

December 20, 2018

Reflections, gratitude, and hope

Source: The Syria Campaign

Almost eight years ago I used to wake with my heart in my throat every morning I knew I would be joining other peaceful activists on the streets of Damascus calling for a new voice and new future for Syria. Now as 2018 draws to a close in my new role as Executive Director of The Syria Campaign, I still dream of a free and democratic country and wake with hope and determination that so much is possible. What keeps me going is you and the 500,000 others who have supported The Syria Campaign through the highs and lows of this past year.

Knowing that you stand with us, keeps us pushing forward.

Together we’ve had incredible impact to date.

We introduced the White Helmets to the world and raised millions to sustain their life-saving work
Built a movement with the Families for Freedom, a group of women struggling to free Syria’s disappeared sons and daughters
Challenged the role of the United Nations’ aid operation in Syria
Created award-winning films about the work of frontline activists and humanitarians that have inspired millions, including world leaders and decision makers.
And over the past 12 months we have continued to campaign even when the global spotlight on Syria has dulled.

We got the fate of Syria’s 100,000 detainees on the agenda at the UN General Assembly, the UN envoy’s office, and the US congress
We helped generate more than 5000 media stories on Syrian human rights defenders, humanitarians, and community groups across the world’s most influential media outlets
17,000 of us took the call of Ghouta residents for an end to the bombing to the UN, and celebrities including Riz Ahmed, Emma Thompson, and Annie Lennox publicly echoed the demand for a ceasefire
We partnered with Syrian filmmakers to capture life in northwest Syria as Russian bombs dropped on the area throughout the World Cup and stood with incredible civil society groups in Idlib through the report and website Idlib Lives, which tells the stories of grassroots humanitarians and human rights activists
The White Helmets were recognised and celebrated by US decision makers, UK politicians, and high profile supporters such as the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian as they continue to bear witness to the war crimes they respond to
We raised $1.3 million for Syria’s rescue workers, educators, and independent journalists
The complete disregard for international rule of law shown by Assad when he released death notices for hundreds of peaceful protesters, humanitarians, and ordinary citizens has prompted a global outcry and generated international media coverage that still reverberates today thanks to your support.

When the residents of Eastern Ghouta were sheltering in their basements to protect themselves from the bombs that fell on their homes, schools, and hospitals, you joined us to send a rallying cry to the UN Security Council and Russian embassies across the world. You got on the phone when our friends in Ghouta could not.

As we look ahead to next year, we know there’s much more we will do together.

Three million people in Idlib live in fear of what will happen next. Refugees fear they will be forced home to face detention and death. Schools and hospitals worry their work will have to stop due to international funding cuts. Families of those in Assad’s underground jails call again and again to be reunited with their loved ones.

The Syria Campaign is a tiny team of Syrian and international human rights campaigners, storytellers, and advocates. Our strength and impact comes from our fellow activists on the ground in Syria and the hundreds of thousands of people across the world who stand with them. Together we are able to generate a rare phenomenon in today’s world – hope.

Hope is more powerful than you might imagine. For those living under the bombs and extremist threats, knowing there is a movement of people that have their back keeps them going. For those who volunteer day and night to save others, your donations help them keep their vital services afloat. For those who fear the Syria they know and love is lost to a war criminal, your continued solidarity keeps them fighting for something far more just and joyous.