Chicago, IL January 24, 2014
“On the day of the chemical weapons attack, I was awake all night. At around five in the morning, I heard news that Moadamiya (near Damascus) was hit with chemical weapons.” Ameenah Sawwan, a 23-year-old survivor of the nearly three-year-old conflict in Syria, testified before the UN last week. “I felt a tightness in my chest, dizziness, burning in my eyes and my nose. At that point we wet scarves and covered our noses.”
Sawwan will tell her story Sunday, January 26, at Amnesty International Shines a Light on the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria, a free event co-sponsored by Amnesty International (AI) and Zakat Foundation of America, which will take place at 6:00 p.m. at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E 60th Street in Chicago.
As the Syrian peace talks in Geneva flounder, reports of starvation and torture emerged from Syria this week. A representative of one of few humanitarian aid organizations operating inside Syria, Noura Almasri, director for Middle East Programs at Bridgeview-based Zakat Foundation of America, will speak Sunday on humanitarian aid for Syrian civilians and abuses of women’s human rights.
“Women are being raped while under arrest for merely admitting they come from a rebel-held area,” Almasri said. “She may be raped in front of her husband. It is a systematic way to humiliate the victim and terrorize whole communities.”
Amnesty International Shines a Light on the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria
Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E 60th Street in Chicago
- Ameenah Sawwan, eyewitness to August 21, 2013, chemical attacks on Damascus
- Noura Almasri, director for Middle East Programs at Zakat Foundation of America
- Blaine Mineman, Illinois area coordinator for AI USA
- Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president of the Syrian American Medical Society
- Lena Masri, staff attorney with the Council on American Islamic Relations
- Maia O’Meara, president of the University of Chicago AI Student Chapter
- Performance by Dylan Connor of songs from his album “Blood like Fire – Songs for Syria”