It is the beginning of February and despite the artillery stopping its frantic fire above the Gaza Strip, Syrian people still remember 27 December when the terrible conflict began. They are all united in providing support to those suffering as a result of the conflict, especially Gaza's children.
As part of the fundraising campaign on behalf of the Palestinians of Gaza - launched by UNRWA in close collaboration with a number of partners from the public, private and Syrian civil society sectors - an event organised by UNRWA staff took place in Aswaq al-Khair shopping centre last week. There were musical performances and a number of stalls, and all proceeds went to UNRWA.
The event involved the collaboration of a number of organisations, including the Yarmouk Women's Program Centre, the Arin-Palestinian folklore group, Nemrin Music Band for Music in Me and UNRWA (conducted by Adnan Fathallah), and bagpipe player Mustafa Omari. "Show your support by good deeds not words... my sisters and I from Women's Center want to help in collecting money, my heart is with them, with children and with all suffering Palestinians in Gaza," affirmed Alaa Badawi from behind the stand with handicrafts and sweets made by women in Yarmouk Camp.
"I have no words to describe what happened in Gaza... we are here to support those who suffered, especailly children, to give them happiness, because their young lives have been shattered," said Marwan Abu Kamies, director of Arin Group and Palestinian refugee since 1948 from Al Nasera. " I am eleven years old and I am still a child, we are defenceless kids and we need to respond to the calls for help from our sisters and brothers" confessed Rawan with smile, a schoolgirl from Saknien school in Yarmouk.
"The solidarity of the Syrian people with the Palestinians in Gaza has been clear from day one. This campaign is a response to this call from the Syrian people to express their support and love for the Palestinian people", declared Panos Moumtzis, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria.
"We are in Syria and what we can do is to dance and sing for them and not to give up hope that one day we can meet and dance together", said members of Arin-Palestinian Folklore Group after their performance.
Text and photos by Alexander Binek