MEDIA ADVISORY: Chicago leaders stand in solidarity with besieged Ghouta

Chicago faith and civic leaders stand in solidarity with Syrian civilians in besieged Ghouta 

(CHICAGO, IL, 2/27/18) – Today, Tuesday, February 27 at 2pm, CAIR-Chicago will join diverse faith and civic leaders at a press conference at the Syrian Community Network office to show solidarity with the Syrian people in Ghouta who have been under siege and bombardment by their own government for the past 9 days.

WHAT: Press conference to express solidarity with Syrians under siege, bombardment
WHEN: 2:00 pm CST
WHERE: Syrian Community Network, 5439 N. Broadway Unit 1, Chicago, Illinois 60640
WHO: Syrian Community Network with faith and civic leaders, partners, and recently resettled Syrian refugees including Susan Abrams from the IL Holocaust Museum, Rabbi, Rabbi Michael Balinsky, Executive Director, Chicago Board of Rabbis, Steve Dishler from the Jewish Community, Ahmed Rehab from CAIR-Chicago, Abdallah Mitchell, Dr. Zaher Sahloul from MedGlobal are some of the speakers. 

Suzanne Sahloul, the founder and director of SCN said, “Our refugee community has been traumatized multiple times. Once, when they were forced to leave their homes and become refugees, and now that they are reliving the barbarism directed at their families and friends in Syria.” SCN-Chicago provides help and support to more than 180 Syrian refugee families in the Chicagoland area.

In besieged Ghouta, an area much smaller than Chicago on the eastern outskirts of Damascus, hundreds of airstrikes, surface-to-surface missile attacks and artillery bombs have rained down from Syrian and Russian war machines. At least 600 people have been killed and 25,00 injured, most of them are women and children according to BBC. “It is not far-fetched to say that what we are witnessing is another Srebrenica,” CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab commented. “While we have claimed never again time and time again, our collective silence instead makes it once again.”

Ghouta has been under siege since 2012 by forces controlled by Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Iranian militia. The United Nations agencies responsible for humanitarian aid were blocked by Assad’s government from entering the besieged area, the same way they were blocked from entering previously besieged areas in Aleppo, Homs, Moadamiya, Darayya and Zabadani. ACAPS, an independent group that collects data about humanitarian crises, estimates that about 400,000 people live under siege, and 70 percent of them are women, children, and elderly. According to the U.N., the level of severe malnutrition among Ghouta’s children is the gravest since the beginning of the crisis and worse than that of sub-Saharan Africa.

In response to the crisis, SCN partners including faith and civic leaders will offer their prayers and thoughts for the people of Syria during this tumultuous time. Syrian refugees from Ghouta will also be sharing their thoughts and experiences at the press conference.


CONTACT: Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, SCN Executive Director,, Office: (872) 806-0141, Cell: (708) 228-9211
CAIR-Chicago is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding