Friday, February 28, 2014

Haiti offers a lesson of solidarity with Syria

“We simply wanted to help. And I think it’s just extraordinary that we were able to do so with the assistance of the Haitian Red Cross which will be able to channel these funds to the Red Crescent in Syria.”

These were the words of the Honorary Consul of the Syrian Arab Republic in Haiti, Hatem Farah, while handing over a cheque for the sum of 15,000 US dollars to the Haitian Red Cross on Tuesday 18th February at the Consulate located in Delmas 83, a busy commercial district of Port-au-Prince. This donation is the fruit of a fundraising event recently organised by the Syrian Arab community in Haiti.

According to the Consulate’s register, the Syrian Arab community stands at 200 persons of whom roughly 170 are from Syria and 30 were born on Haitian soil to Syrian parents. Arriving in Haiti mainly as petty traders from 1880 onwards, the majority of descendants of these immigrant families today own well established businesses in the capital Port-au-Prince. Over the years, this community has woven itself into the Haitian socio-economic fabric while maintaining family and commercial ties with Syria.

Moved by the tragic stories emerging out of the civil conflict in Syria, members of the Syrian Arab community in Haiti, represented by the Honorary Consul, opted to organise a charity event in favour of the needy and victims of the armed conflict which has severely affected the country for the past three years.

“We decided to make a charitable donation through the Haitian Red Cross because we know that the Red Cross network is transparent and that our donation will arrive in Syria,” explained the Honorary Consul. The total sum of the donation will be channelled to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent via wire transfer.

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