Thank you for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
This September, I will be running my first ever half marathon, the Robin Hood Half Marathon, to raise money for Syria Relief, which is a charity organisation that provides humanitarian aid to the people of Syria.
The Syrian crisis has been a bitter pill to swallow for humanity in general, but given my own background, this is a cause that resonates with me on a very personal level. As a British Iraqi, I know all too well of the upheavals caused by civil unrest and warfare. For a period of time in my life, political sanctions meant having to travel to neighbouring countries such as Syria to visit relatives, where I have visited on two occasions prior to the current turmoil.
My experience of Damascus was that of a vibrant city that boasts a historical and cultural significance, with plenty to offer to its own people and visitors alike. Today, it is a dishevelled shadow of its former self, where food and shelter is scarce, opportunities and prospects for its youth are non-existent and the welfare of its citizen is under constant and increasing threat.
Growing up in the UK, I have always been part of a tightly knit middle-eastern community, where I have made plenty of childhood friends who are of Syrian descent. These friends and their families are people that I have always held in the highest regard, and I feel indebted to contribute to noble causes such as Syria Relief, so that if nothing else, they know that we are here for them and their families and relatives back home.
Syria Relief is self-described as a non-political, non-denominational, non-governmental organisation, established to provide humanitarian aid to Syria. They are currently running numerous projects to supply water, medical aid, education, food and shelter to those most in need and I believe that with the right amount of support, they will achieve their goals of alleviating poverty and bringing stability to Syria in the long-term. If you wish to know more about Syria Relief and the projects they are running, please visit their website: www.syriarelief.org.uk .
I have never really been great at running, but seeing my father train for and then complete the half marathon last September has really inspired me to get my running shoes on and give it a go myself. I’ve been training hard so far, and since April last year, I’ve managed to increase my fitness levels and mileage by a fair amount, losing 25kg in the process. However I know I have a long way to go with my training and I would greatly appreciate everyone’s support in the coming months.
The war in Syria has just passed its 3rd year now, and there are no signs of it ending soon as thousands of innocent people are still being murdered there every month. They are in desperate need of help and even the smallest of donations can help save a life, so please give anything you can.