These photos are from a distribution at the Suf refugee camp for Syrians and Palestinians.
Dear SCM Friends:
The usual cost of a 40 ft container to go from Seattle to Aqaba in Jordan is $2400 – this is a special price that we are getting as a nonprofit from our shipper. The cost is usually about $5,000.
The cost, once the container gets to Aqaba, for workers to unload it from the ship and have it checked by customs and then put onto the truck to take to Amman is $1645.
Once in Amman the container goes to the Jordan Hashemite Charities, our partner in Jordan, it is off-loaded and re checked for items that are either outdated or not allowed into the country and then we load the trucks and take the donations to the warehouse in Madaba. Volunteers offload, sort and get ready for distribution within the week. The cost of this stage is about $2400.
All of these costs are paid for by your generous donations. So, to keep doing the work that we are doing we need you to keep helping us with these costs. We also ask for monetary donations for specific emergencies. These funds are wired into Jordan, Syria or Lebanon for supplies that they need to purchase in country if they are not able to wait for us to send them in a container, or it is not cost effective for us to send them, such as firewood.
This winter has been very tragic. The weather conditions are so bad – first rain and floods in one week, destroying what little may refugee families had and forcing them to higher ground. Once they did that the snow started and they did not have the warmth to protect them, leaving many to freeze to death.
We need your help now to get warmth to the refugees affected by the winter weather. We will purchase firewood and other fuel for heating and blankets. Please, give now.
Please know that we only send out these announcements when there is a dire need for the funds. We are also asking for your help to spread the word to family and friends and associates of these needs. We know that we seem to be always asking but it is for a real cause, not for an administrative need.
SCM is excited to partner again with LuminAID, a company that makes solar powered lanterns and cell phone chargers, and they focus on providing light to populations in need, be they refugees, natural disaster survivors, people living in under-developed areas, and more. They are offering a special price on two different styles of lanterns that supporters of SCM can purchase and have sent directly to our office. The lanterns we receive will be sent to Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Some will be sent in luggage people are taking to Jordan, and some will be packed into our next shipping container heading to Jordan.
We encourage you to share this post so we can get as many lanterns as possible. So many refugees are without power and even though summer is coming which means longer days, they still have no light once the sun goes down. Many also do not have a regular source of power to charge cell phones, which for many have become a lifeline to stay in touch with family they have become separated from, to get information, and find resources.
Thank you once again to LuminAID for making this campaign possible! Follow the link below, or other links in this post, to the campaign page.
The situation in Ghouta is desperate. The people are living through hell with constant bombings, targeting of hospitals, blockade, homes destroyed, and streets blocked by rubble. Doctors are out of medications and often have to use very crude medical practices to treat the many wounded streaming into what is left of the hospitals.
We have heard from doctors we know there and they are using expired medications because they can’t get resupplied with new and needed medications and equipment. They are running out of food and starvation is a very real threat. We must help them now. Below is a video taken by a very brave teen, Muhammed Najem, who is chronicling the destruction of his city. At the bottom of this post there are more links to help you understand the situation in Ghouta, please take a few moments to watch the video and read some of the linked information.
Ghouta is a district to the east of Damascus. It is a rebel-held enclave and the Syrian government forces have been bombing indiscriminately for a week now. There has been little regard for the civilians who live in this region, and again the hospitals and rescue personnel have been targeted. Please donate now to help get much needed medications, gas masks, and other equipment needed to treat the wounded and protect the medical personnel in case of a gas attack, which is feared to be imminent.
Syria has dropped off of our news feed , but the conflict is entering its seventh year. Syria remains one of the most complex and dynamic humanitarian crises in the world today. Since March 2011, more than 400,000 Syrians have lost their lives and over one million have been injured. Close to 5 million Syrians have been forced to leave the country, and 6.3 million are internally displaced, making Syria the largest displacement crisis globally. The people still need us to understand what is happening still and they are not being allowed to escape to any country. A lot of the countries have closed their borders and are not willing to reopen them. In the news you hear about some areas that are getting better and some people are trying to go back home, but that is a very few.
In 2017, an estimated 13.5 million people, including 6 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Of these 4.5 million people are in hard-to-reach areas, including 540,000 people in 11 besieged areas. According to current figures, 12.8 million Syrians require health care, 13.5 million need protection support and 14.9 million require water and sanitation, while 6.1 million children need education support, including 1.75 million children and youth who are out of school and 1.35 million at risk of dropping out. About 7 million people are food insecure and a further 2 million are at risk of food insecurity, while 4.3 million need shelter and household goods.
We at SCM are still working to try and help the Syrian people. For the year of 2017 we have been able to open two sewing centers for women’s empowerment project. For the year of 2017 we have sent in 6 container (40 ft.) from Seattle. With two of our partner we were able to send two containers out of Los Angeles with humanitarian goods and baby carriers. With another partner Direct Relief we were able to get medicines and some tents for clinics sent in via container and some in via air. These supplies were then turned over to the Women’s Health organization and some were turned over to King Hussein Cancer Hospital to treat the needy patients.
Our office in Jordan run by our regional manager Basel Sawalha with his group of volunteers was able to do distributions of winter, spring and summer clothing. We received over 4000 shoes – called “Shoes that grow” that were given out to the children. We had handmade quilts that were made by Quilters without Borders over 700. And hats, sweaters, mittens, hygiene kits, Hope Boxes, school supplies- that were distributed thru out the region of Jordan. As the cold weather started we were able to get firewood inside to northern Syria for distribution.
Besides working overseas with the refugees we have set up a Saturday school for the Syrians at Tukwilla- English for the adults and Arabic for the kids. Besides Arabic for the kids we are also doing, CPR, emergency medical class, yoga, art therapy, singing class, drawing, etc. We recently started a class on Thursday for the Afghani refugee women in the same location.
We have gotten the local Syrian to bake for the different fairs at schools, churches, synagogues to see their goods and make extra money.
But we still need your help and your donations to pay for the food programs, for the school in Tukwilla, for shipping the containers and also medical supplies. Please just because Syria is not in the news doesn’t mean that the tragic situation in the country has stopped. They still need our help- Do not forget them. ~ Rita
About the Musicians
Here is a little bit about the musicians that will be featured for our benefit concert on September 24, 2017 at the Center for Spiritual Living (5801 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105). The doors open at 5pm and you can get your tickets by clicking here: BUY TICKETS
We hope you will join us! We will have children’s songs and songs of Syria in addition to the performances by the three main artists. Refreshments will be served and all proceeds will go to support SCM refugee programs.
Amal Alissa: Amal started her music journey at the early at age 4 in Syria playing piano and taking lessons where she played many concerts, after high school Amal took the professional route where she joined the High Institute Of Music in Damascus, a very high regarded music school in the Middle East, studied Piano as a student of Prof. Cynthia Alwadi and got her bachelor degree.
Amal was the soloist for the Syrian Symphony Orchestra where she played many concerts with different international conductors, and accompanied Choirs and many International Opera singers.
To continue pursuing her academic dreams, Amal moved to Lyon France to finish her graduate studies in the Conservatoire National De Region de Lyon where she earned her DPS in Piano and Harpsichord with Professor Marie-Annick Chamarande and Marie-Christiane Pinget.
Professor Bassam Bishara: Professor Bassam Bishara, musical Director, Composer, Oud (violin, Qanoun) and a Lead Vocal, was born in Rama-Upper Galilee, to a Palestinian music family. He started his music education at the Robin Conservatory in Haifa, and graduated from the music department of the Hebrew University. Bassam taught Middle Eastern music at the Music Academy in Jerusalem. He eventually went on to teach in private schools and formed a Middle Eastern Orchestra quickly becoming sought after throughout Palestine. In 1983, he was appointed Music Director for Alhakawati Theatre in Jerusalem, where his concerts, music and songs were dedicated to the Palestine cause. He also performed internationally as a soloist, blending tradition and innovation, and forging important musical links between the Middle East and the West, from traditional Arab compositions and arrangements to jazz, documentary films, and orchestral scores.
Bassam has received several awards: the “Award of Honor” for his achievements in linking traditional Arabic music and the music of the West; the “Jerusalem Encouragement Award” for his contribution to the revival of cultural heritage; the “Arabic Radio Broadcast Award” for his contribution in the revival of Folk songs of the land; and the “Arab Women Association Award” (London, England) for his role in reconstructing classical and traditional Arabic repertoires. He has performed in Canada, England, Germany, Palestine, Sweden, and at several universities in the United States. Bassam produced several CDs of traditional music and songs among which a recording of various Arabic instruments that he plays and mix in the recording studio, producing a final recording of “One Man Band”. Bassam moved to Canada in 2001. He teaches Middle Eastern music at York University and is the music director and composer for Arabesque Dance Company & Orchestra.
Nader Kabbani: Pianist Nader Kabbani is VP of Amazon’s Global Transportation Solutions. He has been with Amazon for over 11 years and has been deeply involved in Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and in launching the Amazon Kindle and Amazon’s digital music and video services.
Nader holds an M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering degrees both from Texas A&M University. In addition to his talent as a classical pianist, he is an avid swimmer and squash player. Nader, his wife Oraib and their four daughters live in Bellevue, Washington, and have been long time supporters of SCM.