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‘Syria Is With You, Gaza’

A vigil with candles in solidarity with Gaza in Aleppo, Syria. Source: Syria Stands with Palestine's facebook page

A vigil with candles in solidarity with Gaza in Aleppo, Syria. Source: Syria Stands with Palestine's facebook page

This post was previously published on SyriaUntold.

“Syria is being bombed, from Aleppo to Gaza” was one of the slogans raised by Syrian demonstrators in solidarity with Palestinians. “Gaza and Aleppo, glory and pride”, and “Daraa is with you, Gaza”, were others. From Syrian-Palestinian poet Raed Wahash to activists from the heart of Aleppo, where the bombs keep falling, shows of Syrian-Palestinian solidarity are constant.

The Palestinian struggle has always been very present in Syria, but it was not until 2011 that Syrians got a taste of what resistance really means. 

“Suffering through the barrel bombs that the regime keeps dropping on us makes us closer to the attacks the population of Gaza suffer, and to the Palestinian struggle as a whole”, one of the coordinators of the “Syria Stands With Palestine” campaign told SyriaUntold:

“We feel closer than we ever did, and more united, especially in the field of civil disobedience and peaceful resistance.”

A message in solidarity with Gaza, on a destroyed building in Daraa, Syria. Source: Lens of a Young Horani

A message in solidarity with Gaza on a destroyed building in Daraa, Syria. The graffiti reads “Patience Gaza, This is Daraa.” Source: Lens of a Young Horani

Syrian civil society’s strong stand with Palestine is reflected on the statement signed by several grassroots groups, including SyriaUntold, as part of the “Syria Stands With Palestine” campaign “because the worst pain a people can endure is the indifference to its struggle, and to the violation of its rights.”

Such a need for international solidarity was also highlighted by blogger Syria Freedom Forever:

“It is also necessary to remind everyone that the liberation of Palestine can only be accomplished through the overthrowing of all the authoritarian regimes in the region, which are complicit in the suffering of the Palestinian people. (…) This is why opposing any popular revolution in the region is not only betraying the cause of the people of Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and elsewhere, but also betraying the Palestinian cause and its people.” 

The campaign came with an avalanche of art and creativity, promoted by The Syrian People Know their Way, and Syrian-Palestinian relief organization Jafra, among others. Photographs, brochures, posters and stickers were widely shared online, reflecting the unity between both struggles. 

“One concern” is the title of artist Khaled Malek’s latest piece, which depicts a missile formed by a combination of the Syrian and Palestinian flags. Ahmad Jalal, from Kafranbel, drew two dead Syrian and Palestinian children, as their angels hold hands.

Painting by Khaled Malek depicts a missile formed by the combination of the Palestinian and the Syrian revolution flags. Source: the artist's facebook page

Painting by Khaled Malek depicts a missile formed by the combination of the Palestinian and the Syrian revolution flags. Source: The artist's Facebook page

Artist Hani Abbas drew a mother with a child on her lap in the devastated Yarmouk camp, with the message “God protect our family in Gaza”.

Solidarity was not limited to online manifestations. Its impact was noticed on the ground as well. Sit-ins and vigils with candles were held in cities like Aleppo, with slogans such as “Aleppo and Gaza, same pride”, and “We will not be defeated, despite all the bombing, destruction and death shells.”

Syrians from the occupied Golan Heights also expressed their solidarity with Palestinians suffering the Israeli occupation. However, the clearest images of resistance came from the Yarmouk refugee camp, where Syrian-Palestinians have suffered from the regime’s siege for over a year now. “Yarmouk camp resists with Gaza against the Zionist aggression”, was the slogan seen on banners throughout the camp.  

Renowned Syrian figures also took to social media to express their solidarity with Gaza. Lawyer Michel Shammas wrote: “Gaza, victim of Israeli aggression and of Hamas erroneous calculations”. 

Poet Khawla Dunia criticized the Arab community’s stands regarding Palestine. “Arabism is a lie used by tyrants”, she said on Facebook.

Maher Sharaf al-Din compared detention in Israeli jails and in Assad’s jails, linking both forms of occupation. “Prisoners of Israeli occupation go on hunger strike. Prisoners of Alawite occupation die of starvation”.

Syrian solidarity with Gaza is the union of the weak with the weak, of the oppressed with the oppressed, of those who search peace in a land created for peace that has never witnessed peace.

A mother with a child on her lap in devastated Yarmouk camp, Syria, cries “God protects our family in Gaza”, by artist Hani Abbas. Source: the artist's facebook page

A mother with a child on her lap in devastated Yarmouk camp, Syria, cries “God protects our family in Gaza”, by artist Hani Abbas. Source: The artist's Facebook page

This post was previously published on SyriaUntold.

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