Decorated Christmas trees, red gloves, and happy children. This is what was included in the postcards prepared by students of the Russian “Tver” region for their Syrian peers.
These drawings show dreams of childhood, waiting for a quiet holiday and a peaceful life … which Arab children have forgotten, with great regret.
The children’s greeting card competition ended in the Russian “Tver” region. The children drew greeting cards for Syrian children. These cards were translated into Arabic and put into beautiful boxes on the occasion of the New Year. They were delivered to Syria last week with a shipment of humanitarian aid. It is an opportunity to support Syrian schoolchildren and make friends with them. After all, what could be more important than human mutual understanding?
On New Year’s Eve, we always strive to believe in the myth, and try to inculcate in ourselves a belief that the coming year will be better than the previous one, which is something adults dream about before kids. What can we say about children, who have lived for several years under the fire of bombing and the war that broke out because of the ambitions of adults ?!
That is why the call for school children in the “Tver” region arose to share part of their warmth with their peers from Syria, by preparing cards containing simple words and pictures, but honest and effective.
The competition was organized by the Russian Community Veterans’ Association “The Combatants League” and the Church of the Intercession of the Virgin Mary in the village of Turgenovo. This community organization has previously implemented more than one project to help Syrian children. This competition was supported by the political expert and public figure, Rami Al-Shaer, who was born in Palestine, but spent his childhood years in Syria, so he knows closely what is happening in the Arab world.
Al-Shaer stated, “The most vulnerable groups of the population are always the most affected by the armed clashes. But the greatest price in the Syrian conflict, which has lasted for several years, is being paid by children. The war has robbed their parents and the opportunity to live under the roof of their homes and go to their beloved school.”
Al-Shaer added, “Days ago, horrific video clips from the Iraqi city of Basra went around the world, of a child crying, embracing another, lying on his back on the ground, and he passed away. That other child was his brother who died of starvation.
A tragic event horrified Iraq, which is one of the richest countries in the Middle East, but the civilian population is not only readers, but also starves to death in the street in broad daylight as we see. Unfortunately, these are not individual cases at all. Perhaps these footage from Basra will finally help shed light on what is happening and communicate with everyone responsible for what is happening today in the Arab world.
For my part, I call on all politicians in the Middle East and representatives of the United Nations to pay attention to this situation, as these are matters that should not be tolerated.
As for this new year greeting cards contest, it reflects the desire of children anywhere in the world, wherever they live, to simply be children. Their childhood cannot be stolen from them. “
For Syrian children, this competition is a great support, and for the children of the “Tver” school, it promotes a feeling of empathy for the grief of others, and it is an opportunity to realize that every person, regardless of their age, can make a contribution, even a very small one, in establishing peace and mutual assistance. around the world.
A total of 457 children from four schools located within the borders of the “Zavidovo” National Park participated in the competition. In order to select the winners of this competition, criteria for originality of ideas, implementation technique and content of congratulations were set. The prize for the winners was a valuable electronic device.
Despite the announcement of the results of the competition, and the determination of the winners, the matter does not end there, as each postcard contains the name and address of its writer, which means that the children of Syria and Russia will be able to exchange messages, stay in contact and make friends.
For his part, the head of the Church of the Intercession of the Virgin Mary in the village of Turgenovo, the High Priest, Andrei Milayev, said: “We have tried to provide normal and simple humanitarian support by communicating with the children of another country suffering from the most terrible disasters, so that Syrian schoolchildren can see a world Another good thing is instead of seeing tanks and cannons. Our mission is to show Syrian children a peaceful life, and for our schoolchildren to touch the necessary strings: the ability to sympathize and provide support. “
Santa Claus for the first time
Postcards for school children from the Russian “Tver” region arrived in Syria on December 21, and a large party was organized for children residing in Damascus and the liberated suburbs of the Syrian capital, with the help of the Russian Federation Embassy and the Reconciliation Center between the warring parties. The ceremony was also held in Mar Yam, where the guests included refugee children from Zabadani, a city that has been in the hands of the militants for nearly 6 years, but is now returning to a peaceful life, including the Church of the Dormition of Our Lady, which Russia is helping to restore. Thanks to this, the children and their parents, who have been away from their homeland for a long time, hope to return home in the near future.
For his part, the First Vice President of the “Combatants League”, Dmitriy Sablin, said, “Even in the most difficult times, children and adults alike need to celebrate. Therefore, our Syrian brothers helped us with warm clothes and decorate and install Christmas trees near churches in Damascus, Zabadani and Mar Yam, the children were happy to see Santa Claus for the first time, whose role was masterfully played by an officer of the Center for Reconciliation between the Warring Parties.
A group of Russian humanitarian support, including parishes of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in “Ospinsky Vrajik” in Moscow, also brought Christmas gifts to all young children, from the guests to the party. The children congratulated the Greek Orthodox Deputy Patriarch of Antioch and the East, Bishop Ephraim Silivkesci, the representative of the Patriarchate of Moscow and the rest of Russia to the Patriarchate of Antioch and the rest of the East, the head of the monastery, Arseny Sokolov, and the cultural attaché of the Russian embassy in Syria, Timofey Bukov. In addition, a New Year’s ceremony for children was organized in the Church of the Holy Cross in Kisa, which is the largest church in the Orthodox Church in Antioch, and the church’s parishes including children, children of the Armenian Church and children of martyrs from the Syrian army were invited to the ceremony.
The need for help and support
Citizens in prosperous countries today may find it difficult to imagine what life would mean in conditions of continuous military operations, at the mercy of the unknown, without food or a roof over their heads, and with constant fear of oneself and loved ones. This has been the life of Syrians for several years, while children suffer, more than anyone else, from isolation. They are innocent, have no guilt, and endure hardship on an equal footing with adults.
In recent years, Russian society has been doing a lot to help the Syrian people, and this support is often their main hope. Even a greeting postcard, or a children’s party, which may seem very small at first glance, is of great importance to those who have found themselves in difficult situations, and realize how important support is at this particular moment. Sometimes a few words suffice, to give strength and restore faith in the best, and what time is better than Christmas and New Year for a person to share the good with his fellow man?
Children in Russian “Tver” schools wished their Syrian peers “happiness, calm skies, laughter, fulfillment of desires” and hundreds of simple words, but at the same time the most important. The children expressed with their drawings about the sun, friendship, celebration, and the miracle, words that should eventually enter the dictionary of Syrian children, and even say it into the dictionary of every person on earth.
By the way..
In Moscow there is a “Good School” project, which also aims to ensure that schools collect humanitarian aid for children living in armed conflict zones. Clothes, toys, stationery and souvenirs can be among those help.