Syria: a Nation in Need. Why you should care--and a recipe

We've been hearing a lot about Syria and one of its largest cities, Aleppo, in the news in the last few years.  Here's information so you can learn more about what is happening:

Civil war began in Syria in March 2011 and in the six years of this conflict, 11 million have fled their homes and more than 13 million are in need of help within the war-torn nation.  Most of the people who have fled have crossed their neighbor’s borders to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq.  About one million Syrians have requested asylum in Europe.  Germany and Sweden have been the most sympathetic nations, agreeing to take 300,000 and 100,000 respectively. 

Why is Syria at war with itself?  Initially, there was a peaceful uprising against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held power in a dictator-like fashion since 1971, but the president responded to these peaceful protests using deadly force to crush the dissent, which sent off much more vigorous protests and calls for the president’s resignation. 

This caused the conflict to intensify, with the protestors taking up arms and the president determined to maintain his control.  But to do so, he looked abroad and Russia was only too happy to begin to provide men, air strikes, money, and weapons to maintain the Syrian president’s position. 

Taking advantage of the chaos, Jihadist groups have moved into the nation, adding a new element to the conflict.  Additionally, Syria was largely a secular state but Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and U.S. intervention have pushed sectarian differences, aligning the majority of the people who are Sunni against the President and his family, who are of the Shia Alawite sect.  This push toward creating a religious dimension has further allowed Jihadist to gain control over certain areas of the nation. 

The United States has accepted only 10,000 refugees.  Meanwhile, Canada has accepted over 30,000. 

Learn more about the conflict here:

Syrian Refugees:  http://syrianrefugees.eu/

“Why is there a War in Syria?”:  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35806229

“America has accepted 10,00 Syrian Refugees.  That’s Still too Few”:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/america-has-accepted-10000-syrian-refugees-thats-still-too-few/2016/09/02/470446e2-6fc0-11e6-8533-6b0b0ded0253_story.html?utm_term=.55bdf3fd85c7

 

Aleppo Lentil Soup:  Shawrbat 'adas Halabiya

 

Butter Honey Granola: Good Munching for Protests and Rallies

I'm going to the "NO WALL, NO BAN" rally in Austin this Saturday and I need a healthy snack to take with me because it's going to be a long three hours.  This recipe is great with milk or yogurt but it also makes a terrific on-the-go snack stored in a plastic bag.  It will keep for two weeks in an airtight container or for six months in the freezer.  Adapted from Cynthia Lair's "Feeding the Whole Family."

Butter Honey Granola