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viewpoint

Sleep out for Syria

| Thursday, April 21, 2016

“No one leaves home / unless home is the mouth of a shark” – “Home” by Warsan Shire

No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. Isn’t that interesting? And isn’t that something we so often forget? When we hear the phrase “Syrian refugee crisis,” how many of us think about reports we’ve heard on biased news channels or read online or in newspapers? How many of our minds go straight to the politics surrounding this disaster? How many of us think “resettlement” or about the other countries being affected by this emergency? To all those thoughts, I’d like to share something a new friend told me, “this isn’t a political issue; it’s a humanitarian crisis.” Our minds, so easily checked-out from a situation over 6,000 miles away, often forget that this crisis is real and is happening right now to real people. This is why Welsh Family Hall sponsored Sleep Out for Syria.

For those of you who were spared from my constant chatter about the event or borderline obnoxious advertising on Facebook, Sleep Out for Syria was held Friday, April 1. A group of Whirlwinds and friends stayed out on South Quad in front of South Dining Hall from 6 p.m. to noon the next day raising funds and awareness to benefit the humanitarian efforts of USA for UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) in Syrian refugee camps. And for those of you who remember how awful the weather was that Friday night to Saturday morning, it wasn’t easy. We persevered through rain, snow and some not-so-encouraging comments. The event started with an opening prayer by Fr. Groody, and ended with some strong “Thank God we get to go back inside” sentiments.

We’d like to thank those who stayed out all night, joined in on our dance parties, stopped by for a couple minutes, and all those who donated to the cause (special shoutout to those who donated twice, @youstedsguy). We were able to raise $1,500 to benefit the humanitarian efforts at the Syrian Refugee camps aided by USA for UNHCR, and we could not have done it without all of you.

We hope to see you this fall for the next annual Sleep Out for Syria!

Kyra Blas

sophomore

April 19

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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