Sarah Rahal

Students Organize for Syria chapter at Wayne State University hosted a stand with Aleppo emergency candlelight vigil in Campus Martius on Dec. 19.

At 6 p.m. it was 12 degrees, but a Weather Channel estimation of real feel -2, SOS wasn't going to cancel. Wind didn’t allow candles to stay lit and what started out with 15 people grew to almost 30 with passerby joining.

Speakers included SOS representatives, Tj Rogers from the Freedom House in Detroit and a poem "A letter to Humanity" written by University of Michigan graduate Besher Kashlan.

Amal Rass, a WSU sophomore and national SOS board member said the gathering to show solidarity with those in Eastern Aleppo was six years overdue.

“The Syrian people need our support, but they also need our voice. We are privileged with the freedom and democracy that thousands of Syrians are literally dying for, and we can use that to help them,” she said. “We can call and email our elected officials and ask them to support legislation that would save Syrian lives. We can also urge our legislators to bring in more refugees and help resettle more Syrians.”

WSU student Mayssa Masri, said they will continue to stand for Syria, regardless of color, religion, cultural backgrounds because “we’re all human and all equal.”

"It's been over five years that the world has watched hundreds of thousands of parents, siblings and children tortured, killed and stripped of their freedom. Freedom so many of us have and take for granted. It's been over five years that the world has watched millions of Syrians flee their war torn homes in seek of refuge, but the world turned its back on them and closed their doors to them when they needed support,” she said.

“We organized this emergency vigil tonight in solidarity with Syrians, because we cannot allow their legacies and fight for freedom to be forgotten.”

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