Save the Refugees

by Jacalyn Sharp, Senior, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy

As civil unrest grows in Syria, so do the number of people fleeing as a result of the turmoil. In Pittsburgh, one local high school student has a plan to restore the lives of the Syrian refugees, but she is in need of support.

Laila Soulaiman is a senior attending The Ellis School, located in Pittsburgh’s own Shadyside. Her father is a Muslim man from Syria and mother is a Roman-Catholic Irish woman. Laila was born in Dubai and is all too familiar with the corruption in Middle Eastern governments.

Laila gave an inside look at what is really happening in Syria: “Western media calls it a civil war but it is not a civil war.” She went on to explain that President Assad, current president of Syria, wants the Western world to believe that the people against his regime are all the rebels, that the select instances of violence were caused by a religious sect dispute. Laila went on to explain that the unrest is not caused by this, but by the regime itself.

One story came to mind when talking about the regime’s oppression. Some young adults decided to post anti-regime images and words on a wall. Though this is frowned upon, instead of getting punished in a democratic manner, the regime detained all involved and tortured them. This was the beginning of unrest.

It is now common knowledge that Syria’s situation is only becoming worse with everyday. What is even more concerning, is the condition that refugees are caught in.

The most amazing thing about Laila is her plan to address refugee struggles. Laila is in the process of starting an initiative to rebuild homes for refugees in Syria. Through monetary support she wishes to address the issue of refugee suffering for all Syrians, muslim and christian alike. She plans to raise funds through donations from people who are passionate about helping individuals no matter what their religious preference is. Laila wishes to bridge that gap between religions in order to help the refugees. Though religious prejudices are a part of the conflict, Laila only wants to help the refugees.
To contact her for information or if interest is shown in helping, her email is: lalsoulaiman@gmail.com.

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