On Wednesday March 12, the first oral memorial was launched with the reading of the names of the over 100,000 dead in Syria. For 72 consecutive hours, American activists stood in front of the White House and read names of men, women and children who have been killed in the conflict in Syria. The reading continued through the night, as temperatures in Washington DC dipped below freezing and winds reached over 50 mph, making it one of the coldest nights in local history. Activists also stood in pouring rain to continue the reading of the names which was covered by CNN, HuffPost Live, Channel 4 News, The Guardian, Reuters, Alhurra News, and others.
One of the most emotional moments came when the father of Hakam Sebai, a Red Cross volunteer who was killed in Homs in September 2011, read the name of his own son among the list of the dead. Other readers included, Nora Abdullah, a relative of 13-year old Hamza Al-Khatib, Mulham Al-Jundi, who read the names of Tarek Al-Aswad and Hadi Al-Jundi, and the reading concluded with Raed Fares who concluded the reading and remembered some of his friends killed in Kafranbel.
After the conclusion of the reading, an interfaith prayer was held with a Muslim sheikh and a Christian pastor for those killed in Syria. The founders of the How Many More? project presented a book to the community of all of the names called “Syria’s Book of the Dead”.
“We want the violence and bloodshed to end,” Hanano told BuzzFeed.
Activists around the world are marking the 3rd anniversary of the start of Syria’s conflict…Hanano has been joined by other activists, who occasionally take over the recitation of names, in a show of solidarity with the Syrian people.
The end of the reading was planned to coincide with the beginning of a rally marking the third anniversary of Syria’s revolution gone wrong. After Faris read the final name to what was now a crowd of hundreds, a sharp silence filled the air.
…online campaigns are aiming to put a face to the victims of the conflict and inspire action to help those in need. Both campaigns are accompanied by significant offline action in the form of vigils, protests and calls for aid.