By Vincent Lyn

Damascus the capital city of Syria also known as the City of Jasmine. UNESCO Heritage World Site. Thankfully the city was saved unlike the devastation of so many other major cities

COVID-19 still in its relative early stages continues to reek havoc across the globe, and many people are trying to adjust to a strange new normal. But many for the first time in their lives are having a very difficult time adjusting. So the last thing we want to do is dwell upon more sadness and death that has been brought upon so many people around the world. Especially a country like Syria, many whom merely struggle to survive they’ll be able to see tomorrow. With ten years of war that in some parts of the country still rages on and now faced with this honey badger of a virus.

I’m sure that most of you never knew that before the conflict began in Syria pre 2011 it was ranked the “Top Five Countries in the World for Personal Safety” and now has been relegated to the “Top Five Most Dangerous Countries in the World” for more than 6 years. Syria the cradle of civilization is an immensely beautiful country with incredible people that I’m proud to say are some of my closest friends. And yet the Syrian people have been subjected to some of the most heinous devastation and murderous barbaric crimes not seen since WW2. Syria is a country the size of the State of Illinois with a pre-war population of 22.5 million. With the single largest displacement of people 13.5 million people, the most refugees fleeing the conflict 7 million, children who are homeless 2.5 million, child orphans 150,000 and Syrians killed 600,000.

The following are testimonies directly from Syrians on how the U.S. sanctions are affecting them personally. These letters have been sent to many members of Congress. Sadly, the letters got few responses and the ones who did respond did so with the typical form letters spewing the usual propaganda and lies regarding this war. Please read these and share them. The voices of Syrians need to be heard around the world!

Damascus the capital city of Syria also known as the City of Jasmine. UNESCO Heritage World Site. Thankfully the city was saved unlike the devastation of so many other major cities

  1. Joelle:

“It started with hearing that horrifying explosion. I still remember the sound of my heart and my hand trembling.”

“It was so hard to leave our house, my school, and my beloved friends. But the problems was so rising between mom and dad especially in The absence of government control.”

“So my mom decided to live in another city with our grandmother.”

‘It was so hard to accept all that changes i was hardly study even though I was very good in Aleppo school.”

“Our house and every thing in it in Aleppo was taken by the terrorists with my father’s helps.”

“One day i called my friend to check on her, she was crying because she was not feeling her feet.”

“There was no way to Warm the house, no electric, no diesel her mother and my mother was so close friends i’ have heard her she was imagining eating tomato… in that time it was a fantasy, Because they was in besieged area.”

“It was so hard for my mother to find good proper job even though that she was so good in administration field.”

“So she had to work in restaurant’s kitchens for 4 years with 10 to 12 working hours per day. I was hardly see here. It was small city and there no variety in job options.. she kept searching for another job.. the financial status was so hard on us even though that our grand father was helping us but he is 70 years old he didn’t use to work here. He was working in oil and gas sites but with the beginning of the Crisis the companies was refusing his applications even though he had more than 40 years experience because he is Syrian.”

“That crisis changed our lives in so bad way

2. Falak:

“When the crisis began I was so scared to send my children to school because of the mortar rockets that were being fired all over Damascus. Electricity was sparing with a few hours running each day. Terrorist groups outside of the city wee controlling the water supply trying to slowly murder us. Before the crisis I had such dreams and aspirations of holidays with my husband and children. Once the hellish war began my life, our lives changed and we were all put into a state of survival just trying to live day to day, hour by hour never knowing if life will ever be normal again. As a mother I most fear for my children’s future. How will it be for them, what will their lives be like? Will this awful war ever be over? I feel the saddest situation for Syria’s future Is the loss of its major workforce. Doctors, teachers, mechanics, artists, engineers, artisans, all have left Syria fleeing for their lives. More than one third of the population now spread throughout countless refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and all over Europe living in terrible conditions. The fortunate lucky few have found a better future. But what’s left for those left behind?”

3. Rania:

“If death will come in 5 years or 7 or 10 I would urge it to come now because they have ripped us up of all hopes for any foreseen future… they have killed us while we are still breathing, they have taken any shred of dignity pushing us to strive for our daily bread … I wonder what else they may ask for if we keep compromising.”

4. Ayham:

“I wonder what does the American Government has against the Syrian people and for what reason we are being punished?! We’ve never been a threat to anyone, never hated anyone and certainly never been against Americans. Now about the petrol crisis, we had a harsh winter, but we managed to overcome the cold. Now we face lack of Gasoline and most cars stay in queues for about two days on Gas stations to get about 20 liters a week.”

“I do not understand this American intransigence … Why do they want to kill us? We love our country and we do not want to leave it. My young son lost this 20- year-old damned war Why does America support terrorism to earn money at the expense of people? The killing of my son I accused him is the one who helped the terrorists and killed our children and today we are counting on the top of our lives Yes, gasoline is the main source of movement Mechanisms, factories and cars … Also heating Thousands of children have been hurt because of the cold and the children of their sons … The livelihoods of people working on cars and engines Small and electricity ….why not talk The American people as long as they sleep in democracy … Hands for living in dignity in our country We have not attacked you … Let us live in peace.”

5. Adnan:

“Economic sanctions are enforced by US, WHY NOW ? The prohibition of oil supplies to enter Syria indicates an economic war after 8 years of fierce and bloody war waged by US and its allies by deploying hundreds of thousands of terrorists and mercenaries. It is a punishment to the Syrian people especially the poor, who are cleary are badly affected and suffer the rarity and high prices of most necessities to their lives. I think it’s for imposing agendas, opposition names and constitution change. Take it from a Syrian from Aleppo, THOSE WHO WITHSTOOD THE MOST VICIOUS AND BLOODY WAR WILL NEVER GIVE UP TO SANCTIONS.”

6. Mohammad:

“U.S. government claiming that America it’s the country of freedom and it’s the greatest country… Etc What are you doing for God sake??? You have created ISIS and pretending that you’re fighting them? But in fact you are training and arming and supporting them by all ways possible, for what? For power or oil or helping your child so-called Israel?? Israel are fake country that’s why they named it (is real ) the real country is Palestine… I lost my young brother in this horrible war that you started in my country, he was fighting YOUR ISIS and me as a soldier i spent 8 years of my life fighting them ,my best 8 years of youth, i can’t get married or making a family because i scarified of my whole life for my country, for my people, and I WILL KEEP FIGHTING. Leave us alone we can handle our business, i have a lot of Americans friends, they are good people, but you as a government ARE SHIT. I have a lot to say, i don’t know where can i start, We lost a lot because they faking the truth about my country especially in media… I’m not done but i think this enough because they know the truth, they know what exactly happened to my country because they did it.”

7. Ali:

“I remember watching western movies when i was a kid with my siblings… “Once upon a time in the west” exactly… I remember the fly scene at the beginning… At that moment i fell in love with the American lifestyle and mentality. Later i watched more movies and read as many books as i could after learning English just to know more about America… I have always admired and trusted the American people… But i never saw a wider gap between poeple and their politicians. The sanctions you impose are not harming anyone but people like me, people who can never teach their kids to love America as we did… What am i supposed to tell my 4 years old kid? America is good but you are not!!! He wouldn’t understand. Sometimes i really wonder.. Is there really an “American people”? Can they change things like we see on tv?! Or is the “American people” as real as the “Avengers”..?! I know these words wont change a thing… I wish you arrange a trip for us to meet Americans there and hold meetings to tell them what is really happening here… What has been happening since WW2… But again… That’s rather impossible… Aliens like me cannot enter the heavens of America… A green card is needed!!! Right? Yet your soldiers can come oceans away. No questions asked. Democracy might not be at it’s best here in my country… But the world you created can only produce such an ugly truth.”

8. Labib:

“Syrian people in USA and elsewhere pose no threat to anyone and specially American. Syria has provided the best doctors, engineers etc to the world and it is not fair to treat Syria and Syrians with such barbaric sanctions.”

9. Ammar:

“Before the war, we used to dream how to develop and be better persons. How to get more degrees and move to a higher level. Now the best achievement is to make enough money to maintain a decent life. And the hero of his time who has his car full of gas. It’s not only about gas or money, it’s about settlement and this has been lost long ago. The economic blockade imposed by the United States on Syria is primarily aimed at the Syrian people, which is mainly suffering because of terrorism and the siege to exhaust the remaining elements of his life. Damn the U.S government Damn the Western Alliance.”

10. Asker: A Syrian American

“The American people need to understand that Syria has provided the world cultures many positive things, and Syria as an original Christian country doesn’t pose any threats to the world, the sanctions are effecting many innocent people specially children and it will not work because the purpose of it to turn the Syrian people against the government that will not work, they love their president Bashar Assad.as Syrian born American citizen I can tell you that we come to America and we achieve the American dream, we don’t use or abuse the system ,some of us pay more income taxes than many politicians, we respect the American constitution, we love you Mr trump but please get out of Syria and let them rebuild their lives and have peace, I live in the commonwealth of Kentucky.”

11. Faihann:

“We Syrians have experienced awful things no one could imagine.. we faced the threat of death and killing thousand times throughout these 8 years. We face the difficulties of everyday lives and needs with hopeful hearts that tomorrow we are going to have our peace back. All neighboring countries have sanctioned us Syrians of entering their lands with no specific reason. Oils, water, electricity, wheat flour has been limited and we are and everyone knows that we are one of the leading countries to export these materials. And what do you expect when the war ends? A better future right? For you and your family and friends and all your fellow citizens but what happened was the exact opposite! US have imposed sanctions and embargo on us and guess what who is the most affected one? It is the humble Syrian citizen. Don’t you have any humanity in your blood? Don’t you see that we are the ones who suffer.. By doing this you put us in a new war; the war of survival.”

12. Ghehwn:

“As a Syrian, it’s so hard to adapt to life here, it’s like accepting to live in hell for the rest of your life and the sad part is that you can’t do anything about it. I wake up everyday feeling impressed that i survived another day in this place, and i try my hardest to make a difference or to do something that would make me feel good about this place. We’re living under a massive threat We face killers, kidnappers, thieves and all kinds of devils. I’m a 23 year old college girl that needs to work 24/7 while studying to provide food and rent and to pay her duties, my family had to travel to Germany as refugees but i was stuck here because I’m older than 18 so the German refugee law can’t except me there. You can’t imagine how awful it is living in Syria, and the worst part is that we’re not even allowed or welcomed in other countries.”

13. Maggy:

“It is so inhuman act to deal with people of any country or city or area as you are dealing with the Syrian people …I am from Aleppo and I live this dis-humility every day while you all are sitting in your homes, driving your vehicles, living your ordinary life, your brothers or sisters in humanity. The Syrian people the Aleppo’s people are not living, they are dying step by step because of your cruelty because of your enmity, because of your selfishness because of your greediness….its enough how much you tried to ruin Syria to ruin Aleppo you can ruin whatever you want you who are sitting in the top ….but be sure you will never be able to ruin the strong will of the Syrian people …the will to live to survive to struggle to kill the will of the Satan.”

14. Robert:

“Aleppo is dying…and Trump is happy. Aleppo was the industrial capital of Syria, Turkey and allies tried to destroy it and stole all the heavy industry there…the western minded terrorists destroy many of the city’s buildings and the infrastructure, they destroy the old Aleppo’s civilization….All that couldn’t break the people’s will…and now the American sanctions try it again….I’m sure that no one can bend this people’s will who did endure an 10 years random war. Sanctions on Syria means to make its people suffer.”

Thank you to Mark Taliano for collecting and sharing these letters, and thanks to my friends in Syria for sharing the first two letters with me personally. And thanks to everyone who is taking the time to read these letters from our extended family.

Vincent Lyn

CEO/Founder at We Can Save Children

Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization

Economic & Social Council at United Nations

Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Vincent Lyn

Vincent Lyn

CEO-We Can Save Children. Director Creative Development-African Views Organization, ECOSOC at United Nations. International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)