Letter from the President

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Dear Supporter, Assalamu Alaikum,

I would like to thank you for your continued support of Syrian Forum USA and our mission to uplift Syrians' lives by offering accessible, quality services. I would like to this opportunity to tell you about two of our current campaigns, Udhiya and Back to School.

Literally, Udhiya, means the sacrifice of a livestock animal during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. This occasion takes place each year after the Hajj, and dates back to the prophet Abraham. Traditionally, it was intended to teach Muslims restraint, obedience and devotion. Today, Udhiya serves as a means to actively support the lives of those in need. The sacrifice provides essential protein and nutrients that millions lack access to throughout the year.

Syrians are on the brink of survival. With malnutrition & starvation at an all time high, families living in besieged areas are in need. But you can help!

When you give Udhiya through Syrian Forum USA, you can be sure your gift will reach those most in need. What’s more, we commit to providing quality fresh meat.

Speaking of reaching those most in need, many Syrian children going back to school will not have the proper tools to ensure they can achieve their potential or even study at all. Fleeing violence is very difficult and stressful for the child and the family. But with your help we can make the transition easier by ensuring these children are well equipped and ready to learn.

Contributions to our Back to School campaign will provide children with the supplies they need, such as backpacks, uniforms, and will pay for registration fees when necessary.

Please consider donating today to help Rebuild Syrian Lives.

Safaa Zarzour, Esq.


Incorporating Art into Relief

Renewing Hope:

Life does not stop at a disability. Special needs individuals enjoy many skills of the healthy, and sometimes more. Hope is renewed with each success in every aspect of life. With these words, coach Osama and his wife, coach Reem, encourage their team of special needs children of the Nojoom Alghad Academy to excel, as they are a true embodiment of triumph over the burdens that may come with a disability.

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Medical Project Photos

Below are some photos from the Syrian Forum USA's Operations Manager, Noura Almasri. As part of the monitoring and evaluation process she visited a medical facility in Turkey that the Syrian Forum USA partnered with the help supply the eye clinic.

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Operations Manager Visits Turkey

Syrian Forum USA’s Operations Manager, Noura Almasri, recently took a trip to Turkey to visit the offices of our principle partner Syrian Forum. Ms. Almasri visited with each of the Syrian Forum’s six institutions, Ihsan for Relief and Development, Rizk for Professional Development, Fener for Community Advancement, Bousla for Training & Innovation, Omran for Strategic Studies, and Alsouria.net, the media institution of the organization.

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Ihsan for Relief and Development, which operates 100% out of Syria, continues its work to provide direct aid and assistance to the most needy Syrians. Ms. Almasri met with Yisser Bittar, a Syrian American living in Turkey and the Partnership Manager at Ihsan, who was recently chosen as a Coordinator for the Global Education Cluster at the UN as a part of UNICEF’s response to the crisis in Syria.  The Education Cluster brings together NGOs, UN agencies, academics, and other partners under the shared goal of ensuring predictable, well coordinated and equitable provision of education for populations affected by humanitarian crises.

While her visit to the office of Rizk for Professional Development, job seekers came in everyday to apply for training and assistance in finding jobs. Due to the high demand of Rizk’s resources, Syrian Forum is hoping to expand their services in several other locations. You can help by donating to Rizk here.

Ms. Almasri also met with Imad Kusa, the director at Fener for Community Advancement, which provides refugees with opportunities to integrate into their new communities through sports activities, cultural events, and community workshops. Interests in activities, such as the Nojoom Al Ghad (Stars of the Future) Sports Academy, are overwhelming as the opportunity provides the Syrian refugee youth with constructive activities.

At Omran for Strategic Studies, Ms. Almasri met with Dr. Ammar Kahf & his team where they are starting an international internship program. The internship program can be done virtually or interested participants can travel to Turkey. The planning for the program is still in the works, so make sure to check back frequently for opportunities!

Bousla for Training & Innovation often partners with Ihsan to train and engage Syrians.  Projects vary and include Child Protection Trainings, Training in Microsoft Excel, Psychological Health Trainings, Training in the Management and Maintenance of Water Stations, and many more. Bousla’s trainings have been an effective way to build capacity for Syrians and civil society organizations.

Alsouria.net is the media-producing institution in the organization and is a one-stop shop for the latest and most important updates on events inside Syria as well as geopolitical shifts that affect Syria. Their main office is in Istanbul but they have correspondents in Syria and they work around the clock to bring readers up to date news. Visit the site here.

Her trip also included visiting a medical facility in which Syrian Forum partnered to help supply the eye clinic. You can view photos of the facility here.

Syrian Forum USA is proud to support the work Syrian Forum is doing. Please consider donating to help maintain the programs we currently support and to expand in Syria, Turkey, and the US!

Ihsan Organization: A Story of Success in Empowering Syrians

With the war in Syria approaching the end of its sixth year, and with the military campaigns against the cities and towns of Homs’ northern countryside, there is a desperate need for aid and agricultural agencies to help civilians achieve self-sustainability and sufficiency rather than wait for handouts.

Though many aid organizations were started in Homs’ northern countryside since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, most were faced with financial hardships and lack of resources from sponsors which caused them to shut down.

At the end of 2015, Ihsan Organization opened a branch office in Homs’ northern countryside and started working on several aid projects to benefit locals. It followed a different path from its predecessors; one which allows locals to employ their own skills and abilities in providing their daily living, starting with agricultural projects such as planting potatoes and home gardens.

Ihsan Organization for Relief and Development is a non-profit agency that was established in July of 2013, according to its regional director in Homs, engineer Nidal Shalbout. It creates and sponsors service and development projects that seek to improve Syrians’ lives.

Ihsan launched “The Potato Project” in Homs’ countryside to benefit 1000 families who collectively own 2000 acres of land. Seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, and fuel for irrigation were provided along with close monitoring by a ground crew offering support to ensure the best harvest possible.

Ihsan’s media coordinator, Abdul Kareem Khashfeh, stated that the organization has recently started working on the “Home Gardens Project” for the Summer harvest, which aims to benefit more people from the organization’s free services, and provide 1400 more individuals with aid from 2800 acres planted with the following crops: beans (1 acre), cucumbers (1/2 acres), and corn (1/2 acres).

One of the project beneficiaries, Abu Ali, thought this form of aid is much better than handing out aid baskets, as it “teaches a man fishing instead of giving him a fish”.