“One Person at a Time, One Humanity Closer”:Tackling the Syrian Crisis From New Hampshire

Nadia Alawa smiles at the camera wearing a Syria freedom shirt
Photo by Yiyi Wu

with Nadia Alawa, founding president of NuDay Syria

Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Theater

As Syria’s brutal conflict unfolded, one woman in New Hampshire decided to take action. Nadia Alawa founded NuDay Syria at her kitchen table in 2013. In just four years, it has grown to a multimillion-dollar humanitarian relief organization.

But how can someone on the outside help those in crisis in a way that respects their dignity? How can we ensure we are aiding and empowering them — not undermining or insulting them? Hear how Alawa grappled with these questions as she found a way to address humanitarian needs in one of the most challenging parts of the world, starting with nothing but conviction and commitment.

About NuDay Syria

NuDay Syria focuses primarily on those in need in Syria, both in besieged areas and in the north. It helps people rebuild their lives through work opportunities, social business and self-sustainability programs for women, along with supporting schools. NuDay Syria sends 40-foot shipping containers of donations monthly from New Hampshire to northern Syria and refugee camps in Turkey. Its crowdsourced campaigns focus on aiding widows and children, with a special interest in empowering women to be self-reliant.

About Nadia Alawa

A graduate of Copenhagen University with a degree in pedagogy, Nadia Alawa lives in New Hampshire with her husband and eight children. She grew up in Denmark and has lived in Japan, New York and Massachusetts. She has given a TED talk and has been featured on CBS, NECN’s “The Morning Show” and in The Boston Globe. She also was recognized by The Huffington Post as one of the “Top Ten Muslims Who Save Lives.

28 Replies to ““One Person at a Time, One Humanity Closer”:Tackling the Syrian Crisis From New Hampshire”

  1. Thanks so much for the talk given by Nadia Alawa. It is an absolutely an impressed and meaningful talk for me which takes me to know another side of the world. It is hard for me to image how struggling the people the Syria are before as I grew up in a big city in China with a big happy family. My family members’ protection on me gave me a false sense that the world peaceful and full of love. Before I came to U.S. for high school, I assumed that all the kids in the world grow up as happy as I am. However, when I left home and the protection from my families, I started to realize that the outside world is not as beautiful as I image.

    So, I want to appreciate Nadia Alawa again. Her video and words provided me with a deeper sense of the problems in our world today and brought me closer to the people in Syria. The changes in the relative power of international actors make it harder to organize an international coalition to end the suffering in Syria. Like the Nuday Syria founded by Nadia Alawa, it was very hard to get support at this first time. The purpose of those International actors is not mainly to end up the suffering of the citizens in Syria, but to govern the territory and utilize its resources. So, it is very hard for people like Alawa to found a non-profit program to protect Syrians from struggling. Personally, I think the international community should recognize Syria’s right to govern its own territory and stay out of the country’s internal affairs after Syria is settled sown. I think U.N. can provide some helps with the rebuilding and development of Syria after the conflict but not to take part in their government. A country has its own right and freedom to govern by its own people. We can try to help them, but never control them.

    —Katie(Qinnan) Kong

  2. I was deeply impressed with Alawa’s speech that she is so dedicated to retaining the human rights for Syria people. As the founder of Nuday Syria, Alawa talked about why she become a activist, and how her feelings of being a mother came to facilitate her founding of this organization. One story she mentioned at the end of her speech that strikes me the most is that she said while she was looking at a picture of two boys posted on the social media , she noticed one boy has really huge eyes that appeared to have some issues with his eyes, and the group just learnt more details about that little boy, and his family. Because of the extremely poor condition of his family that they could not afford the treatment, the little boy and his younger sister both had the risk of losing their eyesights . Alawa and her fellows took the boy to the hospital and helped save his another eye. This organization also help business and individuals by building 90 homes in one area and build schools, send containers, and conduct Sleeping bed project, delievering extra sleeping beds for Syria people to improve the situations within the area. Nuday Syria consists of people who share the same ideas and missions, and with so many supporters the group can deal with crisis and just as Awala’s speech topic, Reach one person at a time, do what each fellow can do, even very little stuff, and that build up will be tremendous.
    For international communities to interfere with the domestic affairs of Syria, the priority concern is the human beings walfare. Leaving out the political issues of the country, U.N. is supposed to support the organizations such as Nuday Syria to help the Syria people being less affected bythe Syria civil war, and try to relieve the pains or sufferings under the war.

  3. After Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, the world has been more tightly associated in terms of the human rights and equality. The emergence of the organizations such as The Human Rights Committee and NGOs all suggests the society has been fully matured to reach another level of civilization. However, after listening to the speech of Nadia Alawa tonight, it strikes me that there exist countries that the international organizations cannot reach, and that peace which for us seems like the most natural word sounds so distant and even unbelievable for the Syrians. I start to wonder how we, as people who concern about those who still suffer from wars in the twenty-first century, can compromise and find a solution to balance the conflict between liberalism and realism. Some points out that the humanitarian interventions towards other countries can be complicated and some fears that the cultures of the more powerful countries may gradually immerse that of the weaker ones’ if interventions are allowed, and these are indeed the issues that need to be considered seriously. But after listening to the stories of women and children in Syria who starve for days because wars “take away” their necessaries for living, after hearing that people in Syria protests for democracy towards their own countries, I think it is time for the international organizations and people like us to make a move. The initial purpose of establishing a government is to make “the people” in its country better and stronger, and if the government opposes the needs of its own people and doesn’t meet these principles, then we should put the limits of humanitarian interventions aside and help those who, like the Syrians, don’t receive the dignity and equality that they deserve. The organizations like NuDay Syria is a great example to show that the interventions do not necessarily have to be negative and that compromise can be established. Just like what Nadia Alawa said tonight, “it is the smallest things that make a difference.” I do believe that the power of humanity can reach every place where it is needed.

  4. Famous human rights activist, Nadia Alawa, dedicates her life to strive for equal rights and freedom for Syrians by founding NuDay Syria. This humanitarian relief organization is now the symbol of being the active voice of Syria. Being a mother, Alawa has decided to shout out for changes for Syria even though there are numerous barriers. This organization eventually succeed and it has helped many people to find jobs, provided education for many children and constructed many infrastructures. United Nations has the humanitarian appeal for Syria contributed $5 billion. While it virtually received less than half of its funding, people who need the aid would get less than people could imagine. Besides, let other countries to stay out of the Syria and let it governs itself is not a decent strategy, as local parties have grew dependent on foreign assistance, retreating other forces would possibly results in sudden collapse. In addition, compares to help the opponents of Syrian government, to assist the Syrian refugees and provides more international protection for them would be a better solution. With all the outside forces joining into the war within Syria, the country itself is gradually losing control over the dynamics. In this situation, UN’s participation into the war would not be a good strategy. Instead, organization like NuDay Syria should be better promoted and propagandized on the grounds that to aid the refugees in need would be the act that really bring hope to Syria. Activist like Nadia Alawa is the symbol of boldness and fearless, her story would be the star the light up the nation.

  5. I believe that only when there are common interest and common value among international powers can international coalition be organized. Since different countries may have extremely different religious and cultural perspectives on a certain topic, changes in relative power could make the case worse because countries will be taking different actions. Those actions may drive Syria away from ending the war.

    However, Syrian civil war now is not just a matter of internal affair, it also affects many other countries including the US and some European countries with their refugees emigration. So I think it might be necessary for the U.N. to organize an effort to help the opponents of the Syrian government.

    Also, civil wars are likely to cause massacres from one internal power (e.g. opponents to the government) toward another power within the state. If the international community does not intervene and help the opponents of the Syrian government, citizens in the country may be hurt. Take Rwandan genocide for an example: when international community did not take action during the Rwandan civil war, approximately 500 to 1000 thousand people in a religious group called the Tutsi were killed.

    Nadia Alawa’s speech tonight confirms that international effort is necessary when it comes to ending suffering in Syria. With powers within the country fighting for authority, people’s well-being is left hanging. Being able to receive clothes, food and even stuffed animals from NGOs like NuDay Syria fundamentally enhances people’s well-being, and thus may end suffering in Syria from people’s perspective.

  6. In the one-hour presentation, Nadia Alawa, the the founding president of NuDay Syria talked about her experience of founding a humanitarian relief organization and helping those in need in her hometown Syria. She has collected food and clothes for Syrian people after the war, and has built ninety houses and schools in one area in Syria. Her humanistic care and her story touched me. I also realized that we shall not be a bystander in social, poverty and war issues, though they may not seem to happen so close to us.
    In my opinion, the changes in the relative power of international actors actually make it harder to organize an international coalition to end the suffering in Syria. As some developed counties grow stronger, countries like Syria which suffer a lot from the war, starving, and poverty become relatively weaker. It is not so hard to organize a coalition to help Syrian people, but it will probably take a long time to end their suffering because of the change of relative power of Syria and other countries around the world. I think the international community should stay out of the country’s internal affairs most of the time, because every nation has its own regulation and culture, and if U.N get involved too often, it will actually cause negative effects on Syrian people and Syrian government. However, if the situation continues and terribly affect its people or neighboring countries, the U.N. should take steps to help Syria.

    Lingke Ying

  7. The speech form Nadia is very inspiring. Globalization helps her and the humanitarian relief organization to work because the world is more connected in each corner. She is able to learn the news from Syria easier, and she is able to transfer the resources to Syria easier. Syria no longer has its sovereignty because the rights of its people are not being protected. We hear all the awful news every day from the Syria crisis of how do people suffered in Syria, and the government cannot protect them. I personally think UN should give out some resources and arm force to help the situation in Syria. However, the situation in Syria is very complicated, it is very dangerous to the soldiers who are on the Syria territory. It is very hard to imagine any country would be willing to sacrifice its own men for strangers on another territory. Furthermore, even some states are willing to take this step, the situation can turn to another old Libya situation. Using force into Syria cannot be guaranteed to be helpful, and using force has the potential to worsen the situation in Syria. Overall looking at the situation, what Nadia did is the best to appease some of the people in Syria. More NGO attention on this problem can bring more attention from people, and every help from people in different parts of the world can give people in Syria both material and emotional help.

  8. I thought that Nadia’s keynote speech yesterday was very empowering. It showed that a small force, initially just her thoughts and her want to help people, could have such a powerful impact on those we aren’t even in contact with. I feel as though the relative power of international actors can make it either harder or easier to organize an international coalition to end the suffering in places like Syria. In some cases relative power can make it easier in a sense that if one country is able to come in contact with Syria and is able to provide the resources and people to help make a change then that’s great. However, not all countries are willing or able to provide these resources. The international community has a right to recognize Syria’s right to govern its own territory to a certain extent. Once it is showing that it is no longer protecting its citizens and even harming them, then it is the right and responsibility of the international community to help these people, if they believe the consequences of doing so won’t be dire. The U.N. should also organize an effort to help the opponents of the Syrian government. However, the U.N. has shown itself not the most reliable in intervening in such instances so thus the international community has the responsibility to step forward and act on helping these people in need.

  9. Nadia Alawa’s talk on her efforts to alleviate the lives of Syrian refugees was highly motivating. Despite having motherly duties and having to attend to 8 children, she broke the traditional barriers and portrayed her ability and hardwork through her foundation NuDay Syria. Even though she is not completely Syrian, her passion and love for the people of Syria is extremely inspiring and selfless. I think more men and women should be inspired by efforts like hers and strive to make the world a better place.

    I think it was fascinating how she managed to achieve so much for Syria while she herself resides in New Hampshire. This just shows that anything can be done if you put your mind to it.

  10. Lots of interesting and unforgettable points are shared in yesterday’s event. As for the question whether Syria itself can govern its own territory and solve its own internal affairs effectively or not, I consider that the UN, also the international community, have the right and obligation to help solving this conflict in Syria.

    Billions of people, who suffer from internal problems in Syria, do not have access to get help. And the economical crisis and political conflicts are already happened. Because of those disasters in Syria and the ineffectiveness of Syria’s own governing, the international organization should take part in and assist Syria to solve this matter. For example, the UN can allow those neighboring countries to open borders to let those refugees to first settle down, because UN, an international organization which benefits the whole world community, has the ability and right to communicate with other countries and unite all strengths to make world better. Those refugees should have the solid identity and cannot be subject to immigration detention. To some extent, some countries tend to refuse joining the international coalition to have a hand in this matter, because of the complexity and difficulties of Syria today’s situation. But I think that large amount of countries especially those in the first world, no matter offering a hand or not, should be unanimous towards judging the right and wrong, the goodness and inhumanity, because only if they stand in the same side to see those problems, some decisions and solutions can be decided in a much quicker way.

    Syria’s problem is urgent for the whole world’s stability and development. The UN should take actions to help to solve this problem as quickly as possible.

  11. After hearing Nadia Alawa’s passionate appeal for human rights protection and humanitarian participation, I start to look up more information of this extremely long and costly Syria Civil War. It seems like instead of sending their own soldiers to the foreign land, concerned international actors provide military and economic aids to troops and forces they support. This “proxy war” idea is not entirely new, and the international intervention of one sovereign state’s affair in the name of humanitarian action has become a consensual excuse of involvement. The nature of the war has changed from Syrian people’s demand for freedom and democracy to international actors’ weapon test field.
    In my opinion, other states should stay out of Syria’s internal conflict from the beginning and leave the process of power transition for Syrian people to decide. After all, it is Syrian people who have to live and thrive in that troubled land, not anyone else. Only Syrian people should take the responsibility of governing their own land and beliefs. Of course, it is not to say that the UN or NATO or other states could just sit aside and watch as bystanders when anti-human crime is conducted and citizens’ right is violated. Instead of actively engaging in civil war, states and organizations who want to help can passively provide shelters, food, medical aid, knowledge and skills to their reconstruct homeland, but not any economic or military aid to any side. As war prolongs and casualties rise, no matter the government army or the opponent of the government, any side may not restrain from turning guns to the innocent but forget what goals they once fought for.
    Any internal conflict should be solved thoroughly and quickly within that area, though loss of life is inevitable. And the opponents of the government should know the price of their choices. International intervention with hidden motives and interests unnecessarily lengthens Syrian people’s suffering and death.

  12. To be honest, I didn’t really know a lot about what is happening in Syria right now, and I didn’t realize that many human rights activists are trying their best to help rescue another country and citizens in it. I really appreciate that Deis Impact gave me the opportunity to listen to Nadia Alawa. For me, only Syria or U.N. cannot cope with what is happening in Syria now. First, the international community should definitely recognize Syria’s right to govern its own territory since that’s the rights Syria and its citizens were born with. If Syria could deal with this civil war on its own, the international community or U.N. should recognize Syria’s right to do so. In other words, the international community should try not to intervene in other countries’ internal affairs. Also, a country is supposed to choose its own future because the external world might not have a better understanding of the origin of the country.

    If the situation is getting worse and Syria could not rescue itself. Then the international community or U.N. should step in and help solve the problem. Although I believe that the international community better not intervene in other country’s internal affairs, people in Syria are suffering from the civil war and political upheaval. That’s undeniable. The external world could not just sit and look on since we all live in this planet and they need help at this point. We don’t want the world to be indifferent and isolated that no one is willing to help others. Nevertheless, one big concern is that many countries may intervene in other countries’ affairs if U.N. let them do it this time.

  13. As an Deis’ Imapcter, I got the chance to go to NuDay Syria for a one-day volunteer work in New Hampshire last semester. We and other people who are doing volunteer at the same time classified things that were collected from all over the country. Nadia, as the founder of NuDay Syria, was also doing all the same work with us. Everybody was sweating in a sultry huge factory with mountains of stuff waiting for us to organize, but everybody was enjoying doing this. It was the first time I feel like people are really helping each other with hearts full of passion.

    Yesterday, I was helping organizing Nadia’s speech and before that we had a more personal conversation with her as Deis’ Impacters. She talked about how she encountered and solved the problems she had during setting up the organization and how she was encouraged by her family and the people around her. She described herself as a humanitarian activist for freedom and democracy and she is not justing defying herself as this, but she is really doing something big, meaningful and crucial. ” Democracy is nothing if we do not practice”, she said in her speech, emphasizes the importance of taking action instead of being a silent observer.

    There are a lot of people like Nadia, all over the world, are trying to help people who are suffering from inequality, hunger, poverty and lack of all kinds of resources. Syria, itself is unable to provide its people with a secure society to live in, let alone all the basic living necessities. Instead, the international community, as a group of more capable countries, are necessary to help Syria in the name of humanitarianism. NGOs such as NuDay Syria is also playing an important role in helping the people in Syria who are in need. They are definitely worth being paid more attention. When living in one country is a dangerous and a unpleasant thing for its citizens, the country loses its ability to give its people their basic needs. Rather than just watching the people suffering in this country and even die from these suffers, the international communities, especially The United Nations, are importantly recognized to help the people getting out of the tragedies.
    “We need more powerful people and more considerate individuals to help them.” I thought.
    When I was putting the stuffed animals into different huge boxes in Nadia’s factory, I realized I am finally doing something with my hands that I’ve been longing to do for a long time.

  14. Nadia Alawa’s lecture is inspiring and thought-provoking especially on how should individuals especially from the relatively wealthy and peaceful areas react to help the children and people in Syria to have their basic human rights. Nadia showed us a video that the children in Syria did not receive the basic education because their families even cannot afford the basic daily commodities. We have a multipolar world now, so Western countries are not the dominance with the emerging of more powers in the Eastern areas, but it’s still difficult to form an international coalition to help the Syria situations. For instance, there are so many reasons to cause the current situation like the oil resource competition between countries which cause the war happened in Syria, and now there are many powerful international organizations other than U.N like the NATO which mainly functions as to benefit the Western countries. Besides, there are also organizations in Eastern areas. Therefore, even though there is a U.N, which aims to protect all individual’s human rights, we still need time to actually make the world connected together as a whole, but not “separated” powers of Western and Eastern areas. However, the international community should help Syria especially when the government and rulers impose unhuman activities on their citizens, so the whole international community is supposed to act as the “supervisor”. For U.N, it should always stand from the relatively objective point of view and has no bias towards any of the countries. Therefore, the UN should not directly participate into the issue because of its special position in the international community. However, human rights in Syrian should be protected firstly by its government, and all the countries should act as the supervisor to help its own government to make sure human rights are protected.

  15. What I found most interesting about Nadia Alawa’s presentation was her independent action. While it seems like most humanitarian aid is carried out by massive organizations like UNICEF or the Red Cross, she acted alone to send much-needed supplies into the depths of war-torn Syria. Many of the questions asked in the ending Q&A segment regarded her initiative to undertake her endeavors, and I was wondering the same thing. I have a habit of taking great interest in horrible atrocities around the world, but it’s always so overwhelming to try to change anything. The fact that she actually started to communicate with others with realistic goals impressed and inspired me.
    To answer the question of the balance of power, I imagine that humanitarian intervention would become increasingly difficult as the actors becomes more equal. A stalemate, militaristic or diplomatic, would be much harder to penetrate than a one-sided victory. In addition, states have to risk escalating international tensions to intervene. In Syria, Russia’s support of the government and Western backing of rebels has increased the conflict and resulting casualties. In an extreme example of the Cold War, relations were so tense that sending aid could potentially trigger a crisis. If the world stage is dominated by one country, they have much more leverage at their disposal, whether to be used for good or ill.
    Sending aid to Syria could also be seen as a violation of its sovereignty, but it’s worth it at this point. As the Responsibility to Protect states, a country is only sovereign if it protects the human rights of its citizens. Assad’s willingness to use banned chemical weapons shows how little he cares about the principle as well as his own people. Actually intervening militarily and engaging in battle is another question, but the UN and other organizations should at least send aid to the people.

  16. Nadia Alawa’s talk on her efforts to alleviate the lives of Syrian refugees was highly motivating. Despite having motherly duties and having to attend to 8 children, she broke the traditional barriers and portrayed her ability and hardwork through her foundation NuDay Syria. Even though she is not completely Syrian, her passion and love for the people of Syria is extremely inspiring and selfless. I think more men and women should be inspired by efforts like hers and strive to make the world a better place.

    I think it was fascinating how she managed to achieve so much for Syria while she herself resides in New Hampshire. This just shows that anything can be done if you put your mind to it.

  17. The Deis Impact Event helped me to broaden my view of the war-torn Syria. The Syria crisis has been undergoing for a long time now, floods of refugees were accepted by many European countries for humanitarian reasons, and many international organizations have entered Syria for the purpose of making effort to the betterment of the country. From the talk on Tuesday evening I learned what they did well, and what their obstacles were at present to end suffering in Syria, but I believe these international communities might not be doing all the work for its improvements, since the unstable central government had made things difficult for them. I do not think international organizations should let Syria’s current government to govern its own territory, since many militia groups were still trying to use excessive forces to make things “legit”, which is not something a civilized or citizen-concern government should do. As for the problem of whether U.N. should help the opponents of Syrian government, it should be left for debate, since U.N. is should not be used as a weapon to interfere with its member’s internal affairs, sometimes a good intention might backfire as a result. Just look at the sanctions being put on to help resolve the North Korea and South Korea conflict: it emboldened South Korea to put more of its resources for developing armed forces, and it antagonized North Korea to develop weapons of mass destructions, like nuclear weapons. Sometimes U.N. should try to stay out these conflicts.

  18. I felt so lucky to have the chance listening to Nadia’s speech and it impressed me a lot. During the event, Nadia shares her experience as a pioneer of international actor in Syria. She shows how much power can the identity of “mother” brings to her. As a female and an international student, I may never experience the turmoil life that people are experiencing in Syria. However, through the description of Nadia, I can deeply feel the emergence and necessity of calling for help and attention around the world for the issue in Syria. In the world with globalization, it is both easier and harder to ask for attention of an international events. On the one hand, people can get access to more issues and organize international help; on the other hand, it is really hard to makes people actually realize the importance of one specific issue. Even in this tough situation, Nadia is still working hard with his colleges and trying to help as many people as she can. I believe that solving the problems of Syria is not only the response of U.S. or NGOs, but should lies on more actors around the world. Only if Syria receives help from different areas around the world and from different group of people, they can really reach the development and better life quality. The true way of solving an international affairs is always requiring the working of the country itself and organizations outside the country, I’m looking forward for the day that Syria government, U.N. and more organizations working together to solve the dilemma of Syria.

  19. Nadia’s talk was very inspiring as she changed my views on what motherhood is, how one can make a difference, and how to lead a mission. When I first read about the crisis in Syria, I was generally disappointed with what has been done to help the people there. I had vague ideas about which countries supported which side, and what the conflicts were about.

    Alawa was not discouraged, but instead felt compelled to help. She explained that some Syrian people want freedom and democracy, and that is why they decided to rebel. As the situation escalated, Alawa found out what their collective need was and made herself become part of the solution by founding NuDay Syria. She found other organizations to help her on her mission to really focus on empowering women and children. Her priority was to the goals of NuDay, but sometimes it was too dangerous to be in severely war torn areas and she needed to relocate her services. However, she found ways to maneuver between the different sides to reach the people who needed help.

    She stressed that the Syrians were not disempowered, and that they were in fact very capable in contributing to their society if given the necessary tools. If this is the case, maybe what international organizations should do is not pick sides to the conflict. They need to identify problems that hinder administrative structure and give the citizens the resources to rebuild their own communities. People in war torn countries want the fighting to stop, but it is also important for them to have the ability to return to what life was like before the conflicts started as quickly as possible. Outside organizations like Nadia’s can help the people reach the goals themselves.

  20. Nadia Alawa is an inspiration to us all. Her work addressing the largest current humanitarian crisis was rooted in her desire to change the world one day at a time and one person at a time. She speaks volumes to the impact that we can all have in pursuing our passions and seeking to make a difference. Her multi-million dollar non-profit organization is a testament to the dedication and time she has invested in spreading the cause and rallying individuals behind seeking justice for an area that is in the midst of catastrophe and chaos. The smallest donation has the potential to maximize change and revolutionize the lives of Syrian children and women who are often the collateral of war and times of conflict. Her ability to tackle an issue that has mystified nations who hesitate to get involved over politics is addressing the human need that is on the ground.

    Being informed and realizing feasible ways to make a difference and provide support is a route that demonstrates success. Having had the ability to volunteer in New Hampshire with NuDay Syria, engage in conversation with Nadia, and hear her keynote address at DEIS’ Impact I am reaffirmed that change is possible with a bit of hope and that the work that is being doing is both valuable and urgent. I applaud the efforts of Nadia Alawa and those who have found themselves supporting the missions and goals of this outstanding organization.

  21. Nadia Alawa’ s speech was very impressive and inspiring. The things she ‘s been doing is just so cool. The situation in Syria needs help from all states. The problems couldn’t be left for the territory itself for they are getting too intense. Those people who live in the territory just shouldn’t suffer from all of the mass. Their basic human rights are even not being ensured. Although it would cost so much effort to get it done. But it’s already causing problems to other countries. Either on the ethical perspective or the economical perspective, the problem just need to be solved. I think UN definitely should take the responsibility to improve the situation. But for the complicated and severe situation in Syria, I consider a even more powerful institution is in demand. UN is not strong enough. To avoid failure and risks, lots of countries should take part in it. And all of the things should be planned carefully. So that Syria could get saved without large amount of people getting hurt. But I have never been to Syria. The real situation must be more complicated than I thought. But how complicated it is shouldn’t be the reason that any states give up. It’s just too cold to leave innocent people suffer and do nothing with it. The procedure would be hard and tortures, but it should definitely get done. It wouldn’t just benefit Syria.

  22. Nadia Alawa’s speech is definitely inspiring and it brings my attention to Syria. Before her speech, I did not really know much about Syria. I did not realize that people from other side of the world are still suffering from the war, and the local government cannot even protect their citizens.
    Nadia’s speech helps me to know what situation is nowadays in Syria. Her video and strong words gives me a clear sense of the problems in Syria. In my opinion, the changes in the relative power of international actors makes it harder to organize an international coalition to end the suffering in Syria. According to Nadia, it is hard to get funds and support, and some people do not care much about Syria. It is not easy for Nadia to collect food and clothes, and send it to Syria.
    On the other hand, Syria absolutely has rights to govern its own territory. However, as Syria cannot handle and solve its crisis, I think the U.N should organize an effort to help the opponents of the Syrian government. U.N should take a step in and help to solve the problem as it is an organization to maintain international order and promote international cooperation.

  23. First of all, I want to say thank you to Nadia Alawa. Her speech really impressed me a lot. Living in a peaceful country and having no idea about what the real world will be like, I can never feel the true suffering which the war brought to Syria and its people. However, I do empathize with the people who live in such a country which was torn apart by the war.
    As a child who was born in a traditional Chinese family, I was told by my parents since I was very young that it is better for me not to intervene other people’s business. However, it is recommended to offer the help when others are in trouble. I think this kind of the doctrine of the mean can also be applied to solve Syria’s problems. How the country Syria will be governed should be determined by Syria’s people rather than the international community. The examples that the United States took the armed intervention policy in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown that the armed interventions which do not correspond with the most people’s thoughts will only cause worse outcomes, which makes the situation more confusing and more difficult to handle.
    However, some international organizations such as U.N and can actually send troops to protect Syria’s people from the war. In addition, it can also set up the peaceful dialogues between the government and its opponents to reduce the loss which is brought by the war. In addition, some non-profit organizations such as Nadia Alawa’s Nuday Syria can help Syria’s people rebuild their homes and improve their living standards in a humane way.
    In a word, it is necessary for us to help Syria’s people rebuild their homes and confidence about their future lives. However, we had better not apply the armed intervention policy to solve Syria’s problems.

  24. Nadia Alawa’s talk during the DEIS Impact keynote was inspiring, funny and so powerful. Being on the ‘Deis Impact organising commitee and getting to know her a little before her keynote was a great opportunity for me. NuDay Syria is an organization that she started from her dining table, after she saw images of the war. SHe recounted in her speech how she had never been to Syria but took pride in her Syrian- Dane identity. Her speech talked about the power that we as powerful and privileged individuals in the United States can do to assist the lives of the millions that are in the war zone. Collecting and packaging so many containers is no easy feat and she recounted the times that there were mix-ups or the containers had to be brought back because of heightened conflict in certain areas. Her passion to help the Syrian people while being so far away only gives me hope that change is possible, no matter how big or small. The Syrian crisis is complicated, there are international allies involved, terrorist organizations involved and the civilians are bearing all the brunt of the war. There have been deadly chemical and biological weapons used on the civilians which in my view are human rights violations. The international community should do something about this situation. Sending only peace keeping forces might not be the answer. There has been a response from the neighbouring countries that are taking in refugees that could manage to get out. Yet, there is not enough being done to stop the human rights violations. Negotiations also seem to be out of the question at the moment. I do believe that the Security Council should take some stricter action against the government regime and terrorist organizations. State sovereignty and freedom should not override the people’s rights, especially in a situation as grave as Syria’s.

  25. Nadia’s talk was quite touching and inspiring. As the founder of Nuday Syria and a mother of eight children, Nadia struck me with her extraordinary courage and optimism. During the one hour speech, Nadia conveyed the bitter situations in Syria and the story of dedicating herself to helping the people who are suffering through the war.

    Previously, I pictured humanitarian workers to be cynical. I cannot imagine otherwise for a person who has arguably seen the worst atrocity of humankind, wars. However, my opinion of humanitarian workers has changed because of her words. She spoke about the purpose of founding Nuday Syria without shedding too strong an emotion in her words; instead of exaggerating on her stories to gain sympathy from the audience, she talked about the suffering that is undergone by the Syrians in a restricted and objective tone. I admired her rationale and courage.

    In the Q&A session, a man asked Nadia a question that has also haunted me for a long time. He asked her that what motivates her to continue her work knowing that what she does could have no effect on ending the war and suffering for the people she devoted herself to protecting. Nadia answered that question, saying that she never expected to save all the life. All we can do, is to make a small difference by saving one, maybe two, people. Her words inspired me. After learning the intricacy and randomness of history and listening to Nadia’s speech, I suddenly understood the notion: Society is what we make of it. I also understood the meaning of exploring humanities. Only when we understand how society has not always been what it is, can we stop taking what we have for granted and start questioning the just and unjust social rules. Nadia saw the unjust and brutal situations in Syria and she has decided to make a change. Maybe I also will, someday.

  26. Changes in the relative power of international actors will only determine the potential for an international coalition to end suffering in Syria, so long as these actors can act on behalf of their own self-interests and further their own personal agendas. Conflict in Syria has contributed to many Syrian refugees seeking asylum from bordering countries and from Europe and the US, thereby creating a global refugee crisis that forces even unconcerned nations to become involved. It would be unreasonable to expect that the UN could organize an effort to help the opponents of the Syrian government, when the organization has failed to gain cooperation from nations in order to secure asylum and accommodations for syrian refugees. If nations are unwilling to provide aid to the Syrian people by opening their borders and allowing them to benefit from government warfare, then what right does the international community have to become involved in Syria’s international affairs. President Assad who claims that he is fighting “foreign backed terrorists” has also stated in the past that civilian casualties is largely owed to rebels gaining weapons from countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar; this presents the question of whether or not supporting the opponents of the Syrian government will bring about even more fatalities. Apart from increasing humanitarian efforts and monitoring Syrian affairs, the international community should refrain from threatening the Syrian government since external powers are acting on behalf of self-interests. If the conflict does not diminish, only then should the UN organize an effort to alleviate the conditions in Syria.

  27. A very powerful speech Nadia Alawa provided for us. Changes in the relative power of international actors will only determine the potential for an international coalition to end suffering in Syria, so long as these actors can act on behalf of their own self-interests and further their own personal agendas. Conflict in Syria has contributed to many Syrian refugees seeking asylum from bordering countries and from Europe and the US, thereby creating a global refugee crisis that forces even unconcerned nations to become involved. It would be unreasonable to expect that the UN could organize an effort to help the opponents of the Syrian government, when the organization has failed to gain cooperation from nations in order to secure asylum and accommodations for syrian refugees. If nations are unwilling to provide aid to the Syrian people by opening their borders and allowing them to benefit from government warfare, then what right does the international community have to become involved in Syria’s international affairs. President Assad who claims that he is fighting “foreign backed terrorists” has also stated in the past that civilian casualties is largely owed to rebels gaining weapons from countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar; this presents the question of whether or not supporting the opponents of the Syrian government will bring about even more fatalities. Apart from increasing humanitarian efforts and monitoring Syrian affairs, the international community should refrain from threatening the Syrian government since external powers are acting on behalf of self-interests. If the conflict does not diminish, only then should the UN organize an effort to alleviate the conditions in Syria.

  28. Nadia Alawa described the Syrian humanitarian crisis and quest for freedom. Syrians are yearning for freedom and change from the government, and currently feel oppressed in Syria. Due to the lack of freedom in Syria, Alwha helps by listening to Syrian requests and helps with behind the scenes Syrian issues, such as by distributing various needed items. Clearly Syria needs outside help and the international actors have the potential to organize an international coalition, if they are all willing to work together to end the existing crisis. The international community needs to recognize that this is a humanitarian crisis in which outside help is needed. Therefore, the UN should organize an effort, as the UN is expected “…to promote social progress and better standards of life”. Thus, in regards to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, in order to promote its values, the UN must help in Syria. Under the doctrine of responsibility to protect, if you have the right intention, reasonable prospects and it is last resort, then a country or the security council is expected to organize to help in a crisis. Outside help is clearly needed, and this crisis could continue for decades if there is no increased help. Although, what Alawa does is helpful, more humanitarian efforts and intervention are needed, and it is our responsibility to protect and intervene, because the Syrian conflict has gone on far too long. Alawa describes how Children in Syria need to grow up with peace and freedom. She is trying to spread awareness, which can be a catalyst for change. She describes how “one person at a time, one humanity closer”. By educating citizens, it is hoped that Alawa will spread further, leading to a strong intervention in Syria.

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