Syria Through A Doctor’s Lens

dr-abdelsalam-nyLast week, SRD had the honor of bringing Dr. Abdelsalam Daif to meetings and briefings across New York and DC in order to deliver a raw perspective of the daily reality on the ground inside Syria. Dr. Daif serves as our Head ENT Surgeon in Aleppo; our Turkey Country Director; an elected member of the Aleppo Provincial Council, which is the first provincial council based entirely inside Syria; and a member of the Aleppo Liberal Physicians Assembly, whose mission is to monitor and document civilian injuries and deaths in besieged and hard-to-reach areas. As both a doctor and an outspoken voice of local governance, Dr. Daif works humbly and tirelessly day in and day out without any concern for himself. He has transformed his life and career into a force for good in a country that so desperately needs it.

We are incredibly grateful of the opportunities we had to meet with members of the UN Security Council; UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura; the State Department; the Turkish Mission; the Norwegian Mission; members of humanitarian organizations like Crisis Action and InterAction; United States Agency for International Development; and the National Security Council. Thanks to the support and participation of each of these actors, Dr. Daif was able to further SRD’s advocacy missions of ending the use of barrel bombs that

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have wreaked havoc on SRD facilities and Syrian civil society for years; of providing medical care for  vulnerable populations, such as women and children; empowering Syrian-led solutions; and filling the current education vacuum.

Dr. Daif is the reason SRD remains hopeful that we can alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people. Though we and the people of Syria will never be able to adequately thank Dr. Daif for all he has done, we hope that these discussions are the first step towards honoring his outstanding courage, commitment, and never-ending compassionate service to Syrians.

–Lauren Stricker