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Dear Friends,


The events in our mother country have taken a turn. Silence is not an option anymore. We all have to contribute, each according to our abilities and capabilities, to halting this downturn and moving towards building the Syria we all aim for. A Syria where all of its citizens can live in peace and harmony with equal rights.

No political regime is complete and ideal. We, in the United States, engage in a constant debate about the political system here. We all hear criticisms from both politicians and private citizens about ways the system can be improved. Yet, these criticisms are presented as a thoughtful debate and are enacted through elections. Whenever a violent incident takes place, all politicians and sectors of the society express their condemnation and call for dialogue. When the ballots are counted, all accept the results and work within the political system that is in place. We are part of this society and have the rights, accorded by law, to express our views, and inform the public of our opinions.

There is no doubt the political system in Syria needs to be reformed. This reform will not be achieved through violence. Violence will only lead to social fracture and the destruction of the same source of strength all Syrians agree upon: the ability of all Syrians to coexist no matter what their political or religious affiliations are. That is why we call upon all parties involved to resort to dialogue as the only path to achieve the reform and multiparty political system aspired to by all.

A group of us decided we could no longer stay idle silently watching this turn of events. We could not accept that we can debate all facets of the political system in our adopted country yet we refrain from raising our voices to educate those invested in Syria’s future about what we see as the one-sided presentation and distortion of the reality on the ground. To this end, we established the Syrian American Forum, SAF.

We have been watching how the violence has affected our brethren in Syria. We decided we need to help through charitable work. Furthermore, we have been following the growth of our Syrian American community here. We decided we have to empower our community to get on par with the rest of the society we live in. We established the Syrian American League, SAL, to help Syrians and those of Syrian origin through charities and social programs under the strictest guidelines and supervision within the laws governing such activities.

All such educational, political and charitable activities are financed solely by contributions and donations from our members and supporters. We do not accept any foreign financing. We do not take any directives or instructions from anyone other than our members. We are totally independent and seek to bring all Syrians together.

I call upon you all to help this endeavor and contribute any way you deem suitable. We have to get over the divisiveness.

Sincerely,


Nasser Ani, MD FACS FRCSc
Chairman
Syrian American Forum