I'm so excited that I've passed the half way mark to my fundraising goal of $500 for the IRC's work with Syrian refugees! Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far. I am grateful to you!
We've had a quite cold week here in Denton, and it's gently snowing today. I was so cold going into yoga this morning, but the studio is so warm--both in terms of temperature and the people in it--that I left feeling totally restored. Our teacher Rachel changed the sequence up on the mat for some fun, which is always great -- it keeps us on our toys and in the moment! Now back home, as I look out my window, I see flakes of powdery snow drifting onto the white ground, and it's very soothing.
That being said, my thoughts throughout this 40 day challenge are never far from the refugees who have let their homes in Syria. The UN is now saying that there may be over 8(!) MILLION people who have become displaced, both inside and outside of Syria. This is mind boggling and scary. For those people, snow is not a fun and picturesque event that makes winter charming; snow is a life-threatening occurrence. This problem is compounded when the snow falls in camps that are short on food and even water. While I've lived through significant droughts in California and Texas, I've never, ever had to worry about whether I had enough water to live. Even though I think I'm pretty conscientious when it comes to not wasting water, this is relative. When I'm feeling slightly dehydrated, I just automatically go to my kitchen and drink some water, or even coconut water or Gatorade, to get myself back on track. I don't think about it--I just hit the tap and it's there for me: safe, cheap, and plentiful. But refugees throughout the Middle East are struggling to get basic water for subsistence in most of the refugee camps in neighboring countries, such as Jordan and Turkey. This is a kind of misery that I cannot fathom, but which is being tackled head-on by groups such as the IRC. However, without a lot of help -- a gigantic amount of help -- this problem will only get worse.
Moreover, some really horrible reports were released this week about the lengths to which all sides in the war have been torturing and killing children. Click here and here if you want to read more about this--but I'm warning you, it's beyond disturbing. On top of that, there are extreme food shortages and people are starving in some parts of Syria--particularly in and around Yarmouk, the Palestinian refugee camp that was decimated recently in the midst of a series of battles between factions of the civil war. I can't begin to imagine what it's like for the people who remain in this camp and who are being starved and brutalized by war. It just breaks my heart, and I feel completely despondent about it.
And yet, in the midst of unfathomable despair, the people are Yarmouk are making music.
Humanity cannot be crushed, even in the face of radical attempts at dehumanization. Thank you for reading this and supporting my 40 Day of Yoga for Syria project. Please spread the word. Namaste.