Syrian Americans mobilize in L.A. area to support freedom movement in Syria


SETF Los Angeles chapters

(Anaheim, Calif., 6/6/2011) – Some 200 Syrian Americans packed a hall in La

Mirada, Calif., Wednesday to organize their efforts to promote freedom and

democracy in Syria and to stop the Syrian regime’s killing of its citizens

who peacefully protest for their rights.

The town hall meeting was jointly hosted by the Los Angeles chapters of the

Syrian American Council (SAC) and the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF).

The organizers said the event was the first time local Syrian Americans,

representing the religious and ethnic diversity in Syria, publicly assembled

to support human rights and democracy in Syria. Previously, fear of the

Assad regime’s reprisals on family members in Syria kept most from speaking

about the issue.

The program included briefings on the situation in Syria and on local

efforts to support the people’s freedom movement in that country, and a

viewing of eyewitness videos of the protests and attacks in Syria to remind

attendees of the urgency of continuing to push for a safe and free Syria.

Presenters also described the recent “Freedom for Syria” day organized by

SAC in Washington, D.C. on May 24, which included meetings with members of

Congress, a protest at the Syrian Embassy, a rally at the White House, and

planning sessions to organize support for the Syrian people.

“As Syrian Americans, we are in a unique position to support the people in

Syria who are bravely marching for their rights even while being attacked,”

said SAC-LA spokesman Nour Douchi. “At the town hall meeting, the room was

full of enthusiasm and passion as local Syrian Americans felt empowered for

the first time to help support democracy and freedom in Syria.

“Our gathering and the efforts that will follow sends a message to the

doubters and Syrian government supporters in this area that the freedom

movement is not afraid to assemble in public,” said SETF-LA Coordinator

Ammar Kahf.

Kahf said attendees pledged to join the local efforts for Syrian freedom,

volunteering to help with public and social media campaigns, meetings with

U.S. government officials, protests, phone and letter-writing campaigns, and

fundraising.

Founded in 2005, the Syrian American Council (SAC) has grown in the wake of

the brutal Syrian government crackdown on its people when they began

demonstrating for freedom and self-determination. Its mission is to mobilize<a

Syrian Americans to strengthen civil society in Syria, to promote friendly

relations between the Syrian and American peoples, to engage civic and

governmental organizations to advance civil liberties and human dignity in

Syria, and to encourage international cooperation based on international law

and justice.

Contact: Nour Douchi (SAC-LA), losangeles@sacouncil.com, 951-444-8344 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            951-444-8344      end_of_the_skype_highlighting; Ammar

Kahf (SETF-LA), ammar@kahf.com, (213) 258-1416

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