Syria is Suffering
For the past 9 years, the people of Syria have been punished by their own government for asking for their freedom, dignity, and self determination. The Assad regime, backed by Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, et al. have waged war on the country and its people with every horrendous weapon at their disposal: from guns, to tanks, to fighter jets, to chemical weapons. According the the UN (which stopped counting in 2014) over 500,000 people have been murdered, and 100,000 in their torture chambers. IfOnlyYouListened.org is dedicated to giving you the information you need to understand the Syria crisis and how to take meaningful action.
Here's How You Can Help
In 5 Easy Steps
Step #2: Spread the Word-
Share This Music Video For Syria's Children
The song "If Only You'd Listen" was directly inspired by a photograph from Idlib, Syria of a father reaching out for his children who were dangling off the edge of their house after it had been bombed from the air. When singer/Songwriter and human rights activist Dylan Connor put out a call to action across social media about the crisis in Idlib, renowned KnowleDJ (AKA Will Ramada) responded to Connor directly with an idea for a song that would get the world's attention.
Written from the point of view of a child, "If Only You'd Listen" seeks to bring awareness to all of the children in the world who need protection. The title for the song comes from KnowleDJ (who toured with the Back Street Boys in 2019) and was cowritten and produced by Coley O'Toole (from the platinum selling band We the Kings). The cover art was created by Jeffrey Isom of Pre Sense Form.
Since its release in February 2020, the song's video has been viewed an astonishing 5 million times on Facebook.
**All proceeds from sales of the single will be donated to well established and carefully vetted charities that serve the children of Syria.
Take One Minute to Tell Congress to Create a Safe Zone!
Make A Donation to A Syrian Humanitarian, Medical Releief, or Advocacy NGO
The Caesar Bill
Goes into Effect , Assad's Economy
Sinks, and The Regime Starts to Crack Under Pressure
On June 17, 2020 the Caesar Bill takes effect. It is an American law that punishes any government or entity that supports or does business with the Assad regime. This comes at a moment where the Syrian pound is tanking and the regime is showing its first major cracks: Assad's cousin Rami Makhlouf (one of the Syria's wealthiest business men) has broken with Assad publicly, and Assad's uncle Rifaat Assad has been found guilty by a French court of property fraud. Read more here
The Caesar Bill Becomes Law
in the USA
On December 20th, President Trump signed landmark legislation into law to stop relentless attacks on Syrian civilians. The bipartisan Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act (H.R. 31/S. 52), the culmination of a nearly-four-year long advocacy effort, holds Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable for his horrific war crimes and puts sanctions on perpetrators or financiers of the regime’s atrocities, including from Iran and Russia.
The law’s namesake, Syrian forensic photographer “Caesar,” smuggled out more than 50,000 photos of civilians who were brutally tortured and killed in the bowels of Assad’s prisons, one of the largest single caches ever demonstrating evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In July 2014, Caesar shared his evidence in a House hearing, which led to the legislation’s introduction in the House.
Waad Al Kateab
Syrian-born journalist Waad Al-Kateab made the incredible film For Sama to document the destruction of her city of Aleppo, decimated by Syrian government forces and their Russian allies. The film takes the form of a love letter to her baby daughter Sama, born in the midst of the brutal siege. The ongoing recognition for the film has left her stunned, Al-Kateab says, because “experts” had assured her the documentary would be met with indifference.
For Sama, directed by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts was the single-most honored nonfiction film of 2019, winning dozens of prizes at film festivals across the globe from Cannes to SXSW and Best Documentary at the IDA Awards in Hollywood and at BAFTA. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
On June 20, 2020 Waad Al-Kateab is teaming up with CNN's Arwa Damon and songwriter/activist Dylan Connor (co founder of ifonlyyoulistened.org) for a virtual screening of For Sama followed by a panel discussion moderated by Karam Foundation founder Lina Sergie.
WATCH FOR SAMA ON PBS FRONTLINE BY CLICKING HERE
The White Helmets
When the bombs rain down, the White Helmets (also known as the Syria Civil Defence) rush in. That's why we are so honored to have them featured in our video for "If Only You'd Listen." Here is some essential and inspiring info about the White Helmets:
In a place where public services no longer function, these humanitarian volunteers risk their lives to help anyone in need – regardless of their religion or politics.
Known for their distinctive headwear, the rescue workers operate in the most dangerous place on earth (Syria) and have saved more than 100,000 lives over the past five years.
Former bakers, tailors, engineers, pharmacists, painters, carpenters, students and many more professions besides, the White Helmets are volunteers from all walks of life.
The White Helmets save people on all sides of the conflict – pledging commitment to the principles of “Humanity, Solidarity, Impartiality” as outlined under international humanitarian law.
The White Helmets have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times.
The White Helmets (or Syria Civil Defence) pledged allegiance to a set of international humanitarian values and principles as laid out in the Geneva Conventions.
The White Helmets are being targeted for daring to operate outside the control of the Syrian regime and showing the world what is happening in Syria.
252 White Helmets have been killed during rescue missions.
Their data and eyewitness testimonies, as well as photographic evidence, have been vital sources of information for international investigations into war crimes.
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