Like most of the world our hearts are drawn to what’s been happening in Syria with the recent chemical attacks and the response of western airstrikes. Unlike most of the world, we have the unique privilege of living amongst and serving the community of Syrian refugees here in Iraq. They are our dearest friends, our neighbors, and some of the people who have been most hospitable to us in our time here.

They are also some of the most skilled, educated, tolerant, welcoming, loving, and hard working people we know along with so many other great sides that unfortunately the media doesn’t show enough of. To think that these years at war are putting an entire generation at risk of destroying family, being uneducated, and losing hope of returning and rebuilding home is absolutely heart breaking.

Nothing is as black and white on the ground as it seems in articles and on TV. The fact people have to flee because of conflict in their country is unacceptable, the fact that much of it is the result of of their own leader is sickening.

We sit with survivors and hear stories of people leaving their city just before government forces arrived to force the men to fight. We hear of people finally being able to come out of their homes in safety because their city has been liberated. We also hear stories of people staying and losing children and family not to “terrorists” but to their homes collapsing because of airstrikes from the West.

When you look in people’s eyes who have lost someone it doesn’t matter how they died or who killed them. What’s matters is that they’re gone and there’s nothing you can say or political opinion you can have to change that.

Of all the responses you choose to have please let it be one that believes in a future for Syria. If you take time to share your opinions on these current events. We hope you take even more time and put more resources into being a solution for the suffering people of Syria. Your money, your time, how you talk about refugees, all of it and not just now but for these years of rebuilding that are to come. Most of the world will forget again and again what was on the weekly news.

What will you do?