Syrians Mark 7 Years of Protests

More than 150 Syrians living in the tri-state area gathered at Times Square on March 18 to commemorate the seventh anniversary of Syrian protests against the government. The event was announced on Facebook by five Syrian nationals based here.

The United States government, said Syrian activist Hamid Imam, “is not doing anything to stop the bloodshed in Syria.” He and others at the rally called on President Donald Trump to stop the Assad regime from committing more and more massacres.

Most of the protesters expressed their anger against the U.S. government, saying it has not done enough to solve the Syrian crisis, while Russia, a longtime ally of Syria, continues to provide President Bashar al-Assad with military support.

The U.S. should tell Russia “enough is enough, you can’t do this anymore. We are putting our foot down and we are going to go in and protect these (Syrian) people,'” said Dylan Connor, 42, a singer from Connecticut who has been married to a Syrian woman for 12 years.

“We are here to let the world know that we will never give up,” said Mariam Alzouabi, 16, a Syrian immigrant residing in New Jersey. “Syria, you are not alone, we are protesting for you. We are here for you.”

Alzouabi migrated to the U.S. in 2012 with her parents and eight siblings from the city of Daraa. It is there that protests against the Syrian government first ignited on March 15, 2011, when the government arrested some boys for writing graffiti that said, ‘The people want the fall of the government.’

The civil war has claimed more than 465,000 Syrian lives and left over a million injured. More than 6.5 million are internally displaced and more than 4.5 million Syrians have fled the country, triggering a major refugee crisis.

Anuz Thapa is a 2017 graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

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