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Children among those evacuated from Eastern Aleppo, Syria
Bana Alabed Among Many Child Evacuees Today from Eastern Aleppo
Thousands of people from the besieged area of Aleppo were evacuated today, the majority of the people were children, women and families.
Among the children was Bana Alabed the seven-year-old girl, who caught the attention and hearts of western media, with her Tweets that were retweeted hundreds of thousands of times, providing updates about her situation and the living conditions in the Besieged Eastern Aleppo.
Today, young Bana along with many other children are safe, after they suffered so much. Bana was welcomed and protected by UOSSM’s Evacuation Team and its Child Protection Services, until she, and her family, were transported to a safe, undisclosed location.
UOSSM Safety and Security Director Dr. Ahmad Al-Dbis, who has been, along with other UOSSM staff and volunteers, at the evacuation cross point, since last Thursday, spoke with many other children, that gave heartbreaking testimony of their ordeal.
Kauthar, a second grader, was another child sitting on a chair alone, with a wound on her chin, a broken hand, and wounded chest. She lost her father to the brutal war along with her grandmother and aunt. Approximately 6000-6500 were evacuated today in a total of 109 buses, among the people were approximately 75-100 wounded and sick patients, many should have been transported in ambulances instead of the crowded buses, but not one ambulance came in today.
Many of the evacuees have been experiencing terrible conditions, waiting at the evacuation point for over 16 hours, in the extreme cold, no food, water, or blankets were given to them, and there were no facilities for restroom use. Over 14 NGOs and Emergency Ambulance Systems have been involved in the evacuation of besieged Eastern Aleppo.
UOSSM was among those NGOs, which deployed 26 ambulances, and over 195 UOSSM staff and volunteers in the evacuation process, and UOSSM Safety and Security Director, along with other assistants, was assigned as the focal point for the coordination of evacuation to ensure proper triage of patients to designated hospitals and evacuation of people to safety sites.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, CEO of UOSSM USA said, “We are thankful that so many people were evacuated from the besieged area of Aleppo, especially the children, and brought to safety. But at the same time, it is bittersweet, thousands of families endured the pains of war to stay in their own homes; unfortunately, circumstances were beyond their control and they had to leave, now they are displaced.”
Dr. Sawah added, “It is so painful to look into the eyes of the children, to see their pain, to see their fear. Words cannot describe the feelings of failure that we feel towards these children and their families, we tried our best but it wasn’t enough. However, we will continue, to the best of our capacity, to provide medical and mental healthcare, and child protection services, to not only to help heal the physical wounds, but also the emotional trauma that many children and families suffered, with wounds that run so deep. As fellow human beings, every one of us has a responsibility towards these people, to help ease the suffering of the children and their families. We call upon everyone to reach into their hearts and do what they can to help.”
About UOSSM USA Since 2012, UOSSM has been providing emergency medical relief and healthcare services to the Syrian people affected by the crisis, working primarily inside Syria and with Syrian refugees in Turkey. Partially supported 120 hospitals and 200 medical points with $13 M in medications and consumables sufficient to operate 130,000 surgeries + 825,000 patients treated at our 9 primary health care centers and 9 mobile clinics with over 1,000,000 consultations + 2,872 newborns delivered at the Burnas Maternity Hospital and other UOSSM specialized maternity centers + 128,000 people benefitted from our mental health care and psycho-social support centers + 9,000 medical staff have been trained and qualified at UOSSM’s training centers. For more information visit www.uossm.us
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906