Domestic Horrors: Syria

This morning I lost the post I was writing in my precious 'spare' moments about Syria. I was really annoyed, until I remembered what I was writing about.

An unfathomable tragic conflict. An alternative reality where your helpless children are murdered as you watch. Perhaps worse, where your children watch you murdered and know that you are unable to protect them from the approaching horror. The Houla massacre. Images of murdered children I can't get out of my head.

And yet I can. I can get on with my day, with my work calls, picking up the children from childcare, making dinner, bedtime, work again. Because I have that luxury. I can feel the pain and then I can ignore it. I can file it away under 'horrific things I can't do anything about'. Because feeling it, really feeling it, is too much to bear.

I also hide myself in my domestic existence because I can't see a way forward. The complexity of the conflict in Syria makes me inactive. Because no journalists are allowed inside, claims and counter-claims muddy the waters. Clearly, horrific acts are being perpetrated - and while the opposition have likely sinned, it seems the government is primarily responsible for the worst.

But how can we make them stop? Can the UN or Russia or anyone else really make a difference? Sending in armed forces will surely lead to more horrors. Is more death the only way to stem the deaths of innocents? Where indeed will the #tippingpoint tip us and the people of Syria?

I want to hold those children. I want to tell their surviving relatives that I care. It hurts to think about it. But I feel a sandgrain of the pain of those in Syria right now. And so my emotional instinct overrides my intellectual confusion and I search online. I sign some petitions, I give some money, I tweet some links. I return to my daily frustrations of poorly children, too long to do lists, and lost blog posts. I have done something. It may make a difference, it may not. But I have done something.

And this blog post is the last way I can try and help today. Bloggers, mums, parents, are united in a day of posts about Houla. Posts that draw attention to that horrific unjust world we prefer to deny. Posts that allow us to shout that we care, together, to draw strength in numbers. Maybe we can make a difference, somewhere, somehow. Liz Jarvis says this in her post for Brit Mums:

"Many of us are joining forces in protest against the killings in Syria. We’re blogging and tweeting and using our collective voice to make as much noise as we possibly can. If you’re on twitter, watch out for bloggers tweeting links to their posts using the hashtags #Syria #StoptheKilling and #tippingpoint, RT their posts and join in. It may not be much, but doing something is always better than doing nothing."

If like me, you're stuck in a netherworld between your domestic challenges and the horrors of the world like Houla, here are some things you can do today too:

Follow , sign this petition to the UN Security Council and donate if you can.

Sign this second petition from  (beware the awful picture here).

Donate to the  to help get basic supplies and support to those in need here 

Send an email to Russia (you can add your own words, or just sign it, it's really quick) via Amnesty.

Donating may impact on your food shop this week, but your kids will still have food. Signing petitions will take ten minutes out of your hectic day, but that's ten minutes those children from Houla no longer have. We have to try, right?

Pippa's profile

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As well as being an exhausted but mostly happy mum, and one of the founders of Story of Mum, I write and work as a Script Consultant on feature films and co-run the Cross Channel Film Lab, helping writers and directors to tell their stories and reach an audience. I live with my surf-obsessed husband, hilarious son and daughter in a chaotic house in Cornwall, UK. Things that make me feel good: the sea, chocolate, zumba, yoga, and puddle-jumping.

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