Community members, including some recent Syrian refugees, gather in Westlake Park to show solidarity with the residents of Aleppo, Syria.
On Sunday afternoon, about 50 people, including some recent Syrian refugees, stood in Westlake Park in downtown Seattle to show solidarity with the residents of Aleppo, Syria. “While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping,” they chanted as people doing their Christmas shopping walked by their spot just outside the holiday carousel. They continued with a pointed attack on the country’s leader: “Assad what do you say, how many kids have you killed today?” All week, the world has been watching as an effort to evacuate civilians from east Aleppo has stalled. Buses that were meant to evacuate the sick and wounded were reportedly set on fire over the weekend. One of the event organizers, Methal Dabaj, was born in Syria. “It’s really heartwarming to see that people left their homes on a cold day,” she said, as the many people in the crowd kept moving to stay warm, with temperatures in the upper 30s. “People in Aleppo — they want to know they are not alone and that their voices are heard,” Dabaj said. “They want to know we will take action.” During the demonstration, a man yelled from across the street, “Go back to your own country!” The group chanted louder. “Say it loud and say it clear, refugees are welcome here!”