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Honouring victims of Aleppo attacks

by Nelly Sérandour-Amar October 4, 2016
Honouring victims of Aleppo attacks

Montrealers shows their support for victims in Aleppo, after repeated airstrikes

A one-hour vigil for the International Solidarity Day with Aleppo took place Friday at the Norman Bethune Square in downtown Montreal. This gathering was organized after a ceasefire between the U.S., Russian armies and Assad’s troops and rebel forces fell through, leading to airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria.

These attacks killed 91 people on Friday, Sept. 23, and 25 people on Saturday, Sept. 24. Over 2 million Syrians had no access to water after the airstrikes damaged a pumping station that supplies water to eastern parts of the city. Another pumping station was shut off in retaliation to the attacks, stopping the water supply to 1.5 million people in western Aleppo, according to Hanaa Singer, UNICEF representative in Syria, in an article from The Telegraph.

At the start of the vigil, only a handful of supporters gathered. Around 6 p.m., candles were lit by supporters and journalists. More supporters arrived, bringing the crowd to about 20 people. “I think people lost their hope, and they cannot find anything to hold on to the future,” said Maya Atassi, a Syrian-born supporter, of the lack of supporters at the vigil.

Fidaa Aljnui, another supporter, agreed with Atassi. “It’s frustrating,” he said. “No one from the international community is taking real action.”

Some supporters held up posters with written messages for Aleppo, such as, “Aleppo, oldest city in mankind history is destroyed,” and “Together for Aleppo.”

Mezyan Albarazi, a Syrian who has been travelling to many countries to show his support at different solidarity gatherings said he hopes “immediate action will be taken, because we are in a bad economically and humanitarian situation.”

“What I think would be the best event for all of Syrians to come together is the anniversary of the revolution, March 15,” Atassi said. She feels that that Syrians will be able to show people they are ready for a change during that event.

A manifestation was scheduled for the following day but was cancelled for unknown reasons.

There will be a second vigil next Friday, Oct. 7. The location and time have yet to be determined.

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