Syria: Youth Rally in Support of Syrian Air

Syrian Air - Photo courtesy of Fadi Halisso

Syrian Air – Photo courtesy of Fadi Halisso

Starting with the Syria Accountability Act (SAA) of 2004, the U.S. has implemented a series of trade and financial sanctions on Syria. The sanctions are affecting the daily lives of Syrian citizens in several areas including: travel restrictions and a ban on software and IT export, as well as business limitations.

Also, the sanctions have hit hard the national carrier, Syrian Air. With a ban on buying new commercial jets or even spare parts for the existing fleet, the number of operational planes shrunk to three airplanes only.

Realizing the paralyzing blow to the Syrian air travel industry,  a group of Syrian youth started a campaign in support of Syrian Air. They have launched a website and a Facebook group, and have gathered over a thousand supporters in less than a month. The campaign's website states:

We are calling all who are in charge to release the sanctions on Syrian Air, Syrian Air have the right to buy spare parts and aircrafts..

And the campaigners point out that the sanctions endanger civilian passengers on board those planes:

Syrian Air transport civilian from different nationalities.. safety is number one in air transportation… Stop the Sanctions NOW!

Syrian blogger Fadi Halisso writes [ar] about the campaign on his blog خربشات (Kharbashat: scribbles):

دعونا نسمع صوتنا، صوت المواطن السوري العادي الذي يغار على بلده وعلى شركات بلده الوطنية. لنسمع صوتنا بالعربية وبكل اللغات الممكنة، دونوا بكل اللغات لنوصل صوتنا إلى حكومتنا، الى الحكومة الأمريكية وإلى كل أصقاع العالم بأننا نرفض هكذا عبثية غير مفهومة لا تؤذي إلا المواطن السوري المشغول بملاحقة لقمة عيشه التي لم تسرقها بعد المافيات التجارية ولم تصادرها العقوبات الغبية.
Let's get our voices heard, the voice of the average Syrian citizen who cares about his country's national companies. Let's get our voice heard in Arabic and in every possible language. Write in all languages to get our voice heard by our government, by the U.S. government, and by everyone else on the face of the earth. We refuse these absurdities that harm only the Syrian citizen who slaves to make a living that does not get stolen by commercial mafias, or confiscated by idiotic sanctions.


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