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September 2, 2013

Syrian-American Student Makes Case for Intervention

Razan is junior reporter for Youth Journalism International. YJI was founded by two veteran reporters and works with more than 200 students across the globe, ages 12 to 24. The organization focuses on journalism, but also builds bridges across cultures and helps students grow into thoughtful world citizens.

Razan, age 16

Razan, age 16

As the U.S. and the international community deliberate on whether to use military force to punish Syrian President Bashar al Assad for his regime’s use of chemical weapons on civilians, those in Syria and ex-patriots of Syrian descent are also split on what action to take.

For more, see our 5 Top Classroom Resources for Teaching Syria

MILFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. – I’m a 16-year-old American girl of Syrian descent, born in Connecticut. I want to see my country, the United States, intervene in Syria to help the people there.

I am aware of the consequences America may receive if we go into Syria. It is difficult to always have other countries wanting America to help them out with their problems. But Syria is in need.

For almost three years, since the Syrian government began killing peaceful protesters, Syria has been through so much. Estimates put the number of dead at more than 100,000, and many of them were children. Many people have fled the country and are living as refugees.

What’s even worse is that the government recently used chemical gas against its citizens, killing more than 1,400 people, including hundreds of children, according to American officials.

It’s heartbreaking to see all this, and yet no one has done a thing. Not even the Middle Eastern countries have helped.

President Barack Obama said if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, this would be considered a “red line.”

I believe we should step up and do what needs to be done.

I’m aware that lots of people strongly disagree, and why.

I understand we can be putting our own country at risk. At Congressman John Larson’s public forum on the issue at West Hartford Town Hall Monday, I heard some people say that if we go into Syria, it might end up the same way as Iraq and Libya.

Others said that more violence will just create more violence.

A few said we should help Syria, and act now.

We don’t know what the outcome will be unless we try. How happy would the Syrians be if we at least tried to help? It will bring smiles to their faces, and we Americans would be proud to have done something to help them.

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