April 5, 2016

Daraya Women: We are on the verge of witnessing deaths from starvation

An urgent call to the world

We are women in the besieged town of Daraya and we are writing to you with an urgent call to save our town.

The Syrian tragedy continues along with its repetitive scenes of violence and siege. Our town has witnessed the worst of bombing and destruction and cruel siege for over three consecutive years. Civilians have had to pay the price under the policy of starvation.

The area is witnessing a shortage of all of the basic necessities, from the very simple, such as table salt, to the more complex, such as the ability to communicate with others. This has gotten much worse since Daraya was cut off from the neighbouring town of Moadamiyet Al Sham. The town was closed off completely in the face of fleeing civilians. We were left with a population of 8,000. There was no life outside of the basements because of the fear of being bombed. After the recent cessation of hostilities, calm returned to the town. Still, there is no life outside of the basements because all the buildings have been brutally destroyed. We’re appealing to all who see this, near and far: we need immediate assistance.

There is no food at all in Daraya. There are cases of malnutrition and we have resorted to cooking soups made purely of spices in order to stave off hunger. There are signatories to this letter that have not eaten for at least two days – some longer. There is no baby milk and no breast milk due to malnutrition. Even something as simple but as necessary as dishwashing liquid is unavailable. There are no cleaning supplies in order for us to ensure hygiene and keep diseases away.

We the women of Daraya call for:

– An immediate lifting of the siege from all sides of the town

– The opening of the roads and the entry of basic necessities, from food and medicine to drinking water, clothes, shoes and cleaning supplies

We call on the United Nations and all humanitarian and relief organisations to enter the town immediately and deliver humanitarian aid to all those affected as quickly as possible.

We appeal to journalists to write about Daraya and shed attention on the plight of our town before mass starvation takes. We are on the verge of witnessing deaths from starvation. The infants and the elderly will be the first to succumb. Please take action before it is too late.

Signers, (To sign the letter in solidarity with the women of Daraya, please use the following form. )

  1. Sawsan Al Abar
  2. Khadija Hamoudah
  3. Azizah Nouh
  4. Mouna Nouh
  5. Ikram Mohammed
  6. Samar Rajeh
  7. Najaa Mohammed
    All of whom are employees of the Women Now Centre in Daraya, and along with the following signers in Daraya:
  8. Amal Mberak
  9. Malak Shabrak
  10. Amani Al saied
  11. Kinaz Sarhan
  12. Samera Alian
  13. Rama Hamadeh
  14. Haifa Al Karah
  15. Fatemah Al Karah
  16. Oum Adel
  17. Oum Ismaeel
  18. Oum Rabee
  19. Oum Mazhar Mourad
  20. Fatemah Abou Hamra
  21. Maha Obaid
  22. Merzat Abo Hamza
  23. Nour Al Tall
  24. Joumana Shetawi
  25. Manal Shakhasherou
  26. Afraa Al Sharbaji
  27. Waed Al Sharbaji
  28. Azhar Al Sharbaji
  29. Hajar Mourad
  30. Ghada Al Abaar
  31. Khoulod Helmi
  32. Yaemien Shourbaji
  33. Rima Khoushfeh
  34. Wardah Janeh
  35. Loubna Kanawati
  36. Mouna Habeb
  37. Ghanda Al Abbar
  38. Ghader Janeh
  39. Shaemaa Janeh
  40. Fouton Al Abbar
  41. Amenah Janeh
  42. Bayan Kheshfeh
  43. Kawethar Kheshfeh
  44. Walla Al Abbar
  45. Ayat Al Abbar
  46. Abeer Saied Soulaiman
  47. Joumana Janeh