HomeTagsPosts tagged with "Syria"


If you’re stuck for something to do this Friday night then you need to get down to The Grand Social.

The charity Scoop (Support Children Out Of Poverty) has teamed up with District Magazine and music blogger Nialler9 to bring music lovers a night of eclectic homegrown Irish music.

The line up for Syrias Vibes w/ District Mag & Nialler9 is jam-packed with talented acts including Alfie South & Donkobz, Why-Axis and FYNCH, as well as DJ sets from Calvin James, Phil Long & David Hargadon and 2FM's Tara Stewart.

There will also be a very special guest performing on the night. They recently played a historic set at this year’s Electric Picnic and we cannot wait to find out who this mystery performer is.

Scoop supports doctors, clinics and ambulances in Syria, as well as supporting Joint Help for Kurdistan.

The charity offers help and support to displaced persons on the Iraqi border with Syria.

They have even started a programme at a clinic in Bajed Kandala Camp that aims to work with women coming back from ISIS captivity, and children who have grown up in a war zone or living on the road, always in danger. There are over 6000 women and children living in the camp.

Scoop was established by brothers Calvin and Andy James. The siblings are currently working on an initiative to help tackle the homelessness problem in Dublin.

Tonight’s event is going to be a huge help for the charity, so make sure to head on down to The Grand Social at 8 pm.

Click here to buy tickets for tonight’s gig.



Aleppo is today under siege as remaining rebels clash with government and Russian forces in the eastern part of the city.

Witnessing the catastrophic scenes around them are ordinary Syrians – men, women, and children who are trapped and increasingly desperate as their options run out.

Some of those seemingly caught up in the violence have been posting chilling words online, sharing ‘final’ messages with a world they feel has abandoned them.

While the authenticity of the posts cannot be verified independently – the sentiment is nevertheless harrowing. Indeed, as one commentator on Twitter stated: "I don't know if the account is real or not but the suffering of the civilians of Aleppo is real."

And international humanitarian groups are already describing recent events as a “complete meltdown of humanity”.

As the bloody four-year long battle comes to an end, Russian state media is reporting that the rebels are cornered into an area of less than 5sq km.

The UN says that some 80 people have been executed by pro-government fighters in their homes and on the streets – adding that at least 13 of the dead are children.

"In these hours, it looks like a complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo," the UN’s Rupert Colville commented today.

Citing a doctor on the ground, Unicef has also said that around 100 children “unaccompanied or separated from their families,” are trapped in a building under heavy attack.

"It is time for the world to stand up for the children of Aleppo and bring their living nightmare to an end," a spokesman for the organisation stated.

An emergency debate in the UK parliament today heard that humanitarian help is needed immediately to save lives and help those stranded in the city.

"Every hour, butcheries are carried out," the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights has furthermore claimed – as cited by CNN. The same news organisation has described the city as “a wasteland of carnage and rubble”.

The Syrian government has yet to comment on the killings in state-run media.

Conflict in Aleppo began in 2012 in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Springs unrest.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has from last year been supported by Russia; rebel forces are propped up by Turkey.

Initially, world powers including the US, France, and Britain publicly backed the anti-government fighters, but the rise of Isil in the region and the rebels’ increasingly pro-Islamic tendencies eventually dissolved this support. 


*Some users may find this distressing.

Recent reports emerging from Syria have begun to capture the heartbreaking everyday struggles of the besieged people of Aleppo.

And certainly one video in particular has proved nothing short of devastating. 

Taken in the aftermath of an air-raid on the city, it shows two bloodied and clearly traumatised toddlers being treated by medics. 

One of the children is desperately clinging to the nurse who is treating him, refusing to let go. 

The haunting moment was shared via the Washington DC-based humanitarian organisation, Sams.

Since the summer, the Syrian government has been trying to recapture the city's eastern half, a stronghold for rebels. 

Controversially, brutal Russian air strikes have more recently been targeting these areas.

Yesterday, the UN's Stephen O'Brien said of the crisis: "Indiscriminate bombing and shelling continues in a shocking and unrelenting manner, killing and maiming civilians, subjecting them to a level of savagery that no human should have to endure."



From Alun Kurdi, who drowned while fleeing his homeland, to Omran Daqneesh ,whose bloodied face stared out at us from the front pages of international newspapers, the plight of Syria’s children has, time and again, left millions desperately seeking answers.

And, according to UNICEF, which promotes the rights and well-being of children, the situation is getting drastically worse with every passing day.

Since just last Friday, 96 children have been killed in Eastern Aleppo while 223 have been injured.

“The children of Aleppo are trapped in a living nightmare,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth. “There are no words left to describe the suffering they are experiencing.”

And with just 30 doctors left and a severe lack of medical equipment and emergency medicine, officials fear for the lives of the children left.

Commenting on the bloodshed he sees on a daily basis, a doctor on the ground insisted: “Nothing can justify such assaults on children and such total disregard for human life.”

“The suffering – and the shock among children – is definitely the worst we have seen,” he added.

Along with their partners, UNICEF works across 190 countries and focuses special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children in the world.



It is being reported that the older brother of Omran Daqneesh, the young boy whose photograph gained international attention during the week, has died. 

Ten-year-old Ali Daqneesh was wounded in an air strike in Aleppo on Wednesday, alongside his siblings and his parents. 

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Ali died from injuries he sustained in the air-strike that injured his brother.

A spokesman for the local council of Aleppo said: "He was martyred while in hospital as a result of the same bombardment that their house was subjected to."

Ali Daqneesh is one of 99 children who have been killed in Syria since the end of July 2016, as a result of bombings and air-strikes. 

Footage of Ali's younger brother, Omran, was shared online this week and has become somewhat of a symbol of the devastation in Syria. 

Our thoughts are with the Daqneesh family at this terrible time. 



A brand new Banksy mural has been created outside the French embassy in London. 

The art shows a young girl, resembling the child from the movie Les Misérables, with tears in her eyes as a canister letting out CS gas is surrounding her.

To the left of the piece is a stencilled QR code, which when scanned by a smartphone, shows the message that Bansky is really trying to send.

A seven-minute video pops up as you scan the code, showing tear gas, concussion grenades, and rubber bullets; It's the recent police raid on the 'Jungle' camp in which French authorities used CS gas to clear people in Calais earlier this month.

It's believed that this is the first time Banksy has used an interactive method to get his point across. 

It comes after French authorities made attempts to take down the 'Jungle' camp, where there is an estimated 6000 migrants, mainly from Syria, after it was deemed unsafe.

The mural is facing the French embassy on a large complex in Knightsbridge which is being turned into luxury shops.

One builder at the site told the Mirror: "I've just arrived at work and saw the press here. It is not very often you come to work and see a Banksy."


Over the last 48 hours the biggest news story in Europe has been the refugee crisis in Hungary and Turkey.

Following the emergence of distressing images of a young refugee, named Aylan Kurdi, found lying face down on a beach in Bodrum, many people have been expressing their opinions on the matter.

Among these has been former Munster rugby star Donncha O’Callaghan. The 36-year old Cork native has been a UNICEF ambassador for the past six years. In recent times he was among a group who visited Syria.

He spoke about the difficult decisions that families in Syria have been facing for the last four years.

Speaking as a father he said that seeing the image in the newspaper was horrible. Knowing the conditions that these parents are living in he said they need our help.

During his visit he noted that many of the refuges in the camp have immense respect for Irish people. UNICEF staff explained it is because of Irish peacekeepers in the area whom they know will help them.

His comments on the situation are both heartfelt and powerful. You can see his the full video below:

Donncha O'Callaghan

Watch rugby star Donncha O'Callaghan's heartfelt plea for action over refugee crisis

Posted by RTÉ News on Thursday, 3 September 2015


It is the shocking image that began to emerge yesterday afternoon on social media: a small boy in blue trousers, a red t-shirt, and pair of smart black Velcro runners.

He was seen lying face down in the sand on a beach in Bodrum, a coastal area of Turkey popular with Irish tourists.

The three-year-old toddler, later named as Aylan Kurdi, had drowned – along with a dozen others.

Fleeing the violence of their home in Syria, Aylan and his family were attempting to reach Greece across the Aegean Sea at the time of his death.

The small boat on which they were travelling would have been loaded with migrants before setting off at 2am yesterday from the coast of Turkey.

Aylan, of course, never made it. Nor did his five-year-old elder brother, Galip, or their mother, Rehan. Two people remain unaccounted for; the youngest victim is a nine-month-old baby.

The short journey amounts to just 20km, but none of the passengers were wearing life-jackets, and once tossed into the sea, the children in particular stood little chance of survival. 

The only remaining member of the family, the children’s father, Abdullah, had to make a series of unspeakably grim phone-calls to relatives yesterday.

He reportedly could only say: “My wife and two boys are dead,” before breaking down in grief.

Despite the presumed hardship of their young lives – the family lived in the ISIS-besieged Syrian city of Kobane – evidently the Kurdi boys enjoyed moments of happiness too: heartbreaking photographs of the pair emerged this morning.

One shows them smiling warmly while posing for the camera; Galip with his arm around Alyan.

A second snap shows the boys laughing with a large teddy bear between them.

Today, newspapers throughout Europe are dominated by the image of Alyan’s body – many front pages show him being carried gently from the shoreline by a member of the Turkish police force.

Indeed, the photograph is being compared to other historically significant and pivotal images from the 20th century: the stark picture of a burning Phan Thi Kim Phúc taken during the Vietnamese War, as well as the photo used on the cover of TIME magazine showing Muslim prisoners peering through barbed wire during the Srebrenica Genocide.

Social media has been particularly vocal too, with hundreds of thousands of tweets being posted calling for European nations – including Ireland – to do more to alleviate the crisis.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland today, Minister Brendan Howlin admitted that as a nation we now must “step up to the plate,” to help those refugees fleeing from Syria.

“It’s a world issue,” he said. “And we need to have a world response with a real sense of solidarity.”

Calling it “one of the most challenging issues for human-kind right now,” he concluded: “Seeing the bodies of young children on the shores of Europe is so shocking – and we can’t let that lie.”

Ireland has so far committed to taking 600 refugees between now and 2017.

This year, Germany, which has been at the forefront of campaigning on behalf of displaced peoples from the Middle East, will take 800,000.