February 28, 2023

Syria earthquake: add your tribute

We’re still reeling from the devastating earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey on February 6 and killed more than 50,000 people. Each passing day further highlights the scale of the tragedy and makes clear that its far-reaching impact will be felt for years to come.

The death toll keeps rising. In northwest Syria, children rescued in amazing feats of courage and determination are succumbing to their wounds as the pitiful international response left doctors and hospitals without specialized equipment or intensive care medicine.

While our people died under the rubble, the UN and the international community shrugged — a shocking response despite its familiarity for Syrians who endured twelve years of crimes against humanity committed with impunity by Assad and his allies. It took UN aid trucks four days to enter northwest Syria after the earthquake. And while the White Helmets saved 3,000 people with their modest resources and the generous support of ordinary people around the world, no specialized help came during the most critical hours of the rescue operation leading to the needless loss of countless lives.

Over a decade of systematic uprooting and forced displacement has deprived us Syrians of a shared grieving space. As we continue to mourn the dead, our team has created a condolences website for everyone to pay tribute to Syria’s earthquake victims. If you or someone you know has lost a loved one in the earthquake, please share your tribute to them to ensure we never forget those we have lost in this tragedy. Or simply leave a message of condolences to the families of the victims.

This virtual space is an attempt to resist the forgetting of Syrian lives. To hold close the memory of White Helmets volunteers Fatima, Khalil, Mahmoud, Dayf, and their families; of Violet charity organization team members Aya, Hanadi, Kamel, Dalaa, and Muhammad; of Bahaa who was forcibly displaced and worked to combat the denial of chemical weapons attacks; of IMPACT manager Eyad; of filmmaker Yaman from Aleppo Media Center and his family; of Karam House young leaders Sedra, Ayesha, Hajer, Talah, Yazan, Husam, Sondos, and Ahmad; and of the thousands of Syrians who perished in the earthquake. Please join us.