When I started this blog from my home in Damascus; I wanted to tell the world “a story” about what does war do to one’s soul but also about survival and peaceful resistance. Many years afterwards, the story became stories and the hundreds readers became thousands. Together with many of you; we have crowd-funded for and raised awareness about the White Helmets: Syria Civil Defense who are saving lives every day and we supported the production of Syria Love Boat; a theatrical production about the perils of crossing the Mediterranean performed by war-wounded Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Previously, together with YOU and many organizations and individuals around the globe; the White Helmets Hero Fund reached: 357.000$ and Syria Love Boat reached its goal 25.000$
Today’s story is not only about resilience and hope but also about a young girl’s capacity to inspire others and influence them from the basement of a textiles factory in Turkey. Loury is 15 years old young Syrian girl from Aleppo. Following the bombardment of her neighborhood by regime forces; she had to flee with her family towards Turkey. The trip, says the father, was financed through selling his musical instrument. The family today survives thanks to the work of Loury, 15 years old, and her father in a low-wage clothes factory and Jan her 13 years’ old brother sweeping the floor in a barber shop.
Loury is 15 years old young Syrian girl from Aleppo; she works 10 hours a day for 1$ an hour in a garment industry in Turkey but she should be doing something else !
Loury, the Promising Violinist Who Used to Be
Before the war; Loury was on her way to become a professional violinist and maybe join the Conservatory of Damascus Music School. Speaking of the past, she recalls saying “I remember the last time I played the violin. I was in my house, where I have beautiful memories” Loury told the New York Times. But she could not take her violin with her when they had to flee, one might wonders: how come a violin, such a small instrument, could not be picked up among other belongings? The bombardment intensified explains Loury in the following heartbreaking video “every time we would go up to pick the violin; we had to come down to hide from the shelling” until her father said: that is it! We need to leave now.
It comes as no surprise to say that Loury is one of 400.000 Syrian kids left without school in Turkey according to a recent report by Human Rights Watch. Moreover, she is among tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of those kids working for ten hours a day for less than 1$ per hour. In 2015, Fair Wear Foundation, a non-profit working with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers, issued 39 pages case study report about Turkish Textile Industry citing fears that the arrival of Syrian refugees, specifically kids, could increase the risk of exploitive child labor. Loury is just one case.
What Can We Do for Loury? Hint: #Violin4Loury
Christina Asquith, the founder of Fuller Project for International Reporting and one of the co-writers of Loury’s story, has sat up a fund-raiser for 2000$ to buy Loury a violan and secure some income so she can go back to school. They reached 1300$
Still, we can help; not only by donations, which will be extremely appreciated, but also by expressing our solidarity with Loury. Similar to what we did in previous campaigns; we will use our social networks, online and offline, to circulate Loury’s cause AND we will make sure to document the progress.
- Share this blog post with the hashtag #Violin4Loury and a link to the fund-raiser.
- Did you donate? Inbox me (Salim.salamah(at)gmail.com) and tell me why you donated? And what message do you want to send to Loury in Turkey? (I will add this message to the blog post) and translate into Arabic
- Pick up the phone and tell two of your close friends about this fund-raiser and send them a link
- Do you work in music industry (festivals, recording companies, instruments supplying, agent or as a professional musician?) think of what you can do. I am sure it is a lot.