Today’s post is a little different from the usual. I am sharing just a few photographs from my collection.
I decided that today I would explain why I am such a keen supporter of the charity, Syria Relief. It occurred to me that, although no-one has actually commented on the fact that I often mention Syria Relief and include links to their website, it may well be that some of you are wondering why I have chosen to support that particular charity among so many.
There have been times in my life that have been very hard. I was lucky because I emerged on the other side of some extremely difficult periods, others are not so fortunate. Indeed, many people end their lives because they cannot see a way out and I, for one, would not criticise them.
As I said, I have come out the other end and now my needs are fulfilled. However, I have not forgotten those dark days or those feelings of desperation. I want, no, I need to show my thankfulness by doing something to help others who are less fortunate.
OK, you may say, why Syria? Why not one of the charities closer to home?
A few years ago, my partner and I went on a touring holiday in Syria. It was a beautiful country with fascinating history and impressive archaeology. Ugarit, Palmyra, Crac des Chevaliers, the Street of Strait, to name but a few. Our tour guide was amazing: incredible knowledge and an unparalleled ability to bring history alive.
Our tour took us to the city of Aleppo, from where our tour guide hailed. The scene in the photograph above shows my abiding memory of the city. Unfortunately, I was taken ill soon after we arrived at our hotel and was unable to visit the world-famous Citadel with the rest of our group. Instead I had the scary prospect of seeing a doctor in a foreign country and all that entailed.
I needn’t have worried. The doctor was very pleasant and spoke excellent english. He gave instructions for my treatment and left, having reassured me. The next thing I knew, a member of the hotel staff knocked on my door and explained that they were dealing with the instructions the doctor had given them. I felt safe and confident that I was being looked after. The care continued, even when the tour moved on to the next stop, as our coach driver had made a bed for me at the back of the coach and made sure that I was comfortable and that I had water to drink. When I was going to get off the coach, the driver would make sure that I had my coat. He was most solicitous for my welfare.
For the remainder of the trip both the driver and our tour guide did their utmost to make sure that I could get the most out of my holiday, without risking my health. This continued until our departure when Samir, our guide, asked the Syrian airline to assist me during the flight – which they did.
Move on a few years, to a TV news bulletin with Peter and me listening to a report about the continued bombardment of the city of Aleppo. The same thought occurred to each of us: the people who had been so kind to me when I had been ill were probably suffering from the attack on their city. Indeed, they might even have been killed. I cannot put into words how affecting those thoughts were but they really brought home the reality of the situation in Syria. I knew, at that moment, that I wanted to help the Syrian people in some way. I wanted to repay the debt I owed them. And so, that’s why so much of what I make is donated to Syria Relief.
What have drums to do with crafting? They remind me of the night we arrived in Aleppo, where I received such kindness, and why I make what I can for people in Syria.
If you would like to help in a tiny way, please visit my old blog, by clicking here and then click on one or two of the adverts, because I shall be donating any money that is raised from those adverts to Syria Relief. Thank you.