Thought for Syria

Roukagia Afan says spare a thought for Syria

January 11, 2016 | Nick Taylor

Spare a thought for Syria, these are the words of Roukagia Afan, a young woman studying at a school in Manchester.

Roukagia, like many young people, has watched on in horror at what is happening in Syria.  She has decided that enough is enough and has written powerful words setting out how she, and her friends, will take action to make a difference.

Roukagia is a future leader for Peace and is planning to work with the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace as part of the THINK project.

Already Roukagia is sending ripples of change through her school community encouraging people to look out to the world around them and to think critically about their place in the world. Roukagia is an ambassador for her school and will soon be part of our network of young peace builders.

THINK is a bespoke programme aimed at young people, aged 14–19. It equips them to THINK critically and confidently about their place in society. In the process, the young people develop skills, knowledge, and understanding around core values and beliefs. This allows them to play a positive role in managing conflict and to become peace builders and leaders – just like Roukagia – please read her thought for Syria and watch the film she has made:


Thought for Syria by Roukagia Afan:

Hello my name is Roukagia and I come from Greece
From the capital named Athens near the Peloponnese
My background however is also Ukrainian and Syrian
Both countries are in a condition which is so horribly dystopian

I have a question for you about your morning today
Did you find it a hard task to get up to school again?
I’m sure most of you did, honestly, so did I
But Syrian people don’t even have a bed, and they don’t moan and cry

You think the children go to school and have a normal day?
Or worry about if sending that “risky text” was okay?
They don’t, they look around, foraging for food
And don’t complain about what to eat when they’re not in the mood

And after school what do we do? Study and go to bed
It feels like heaven in the cold winter, and you’ve got all that heat and comfort in our head
what about the Syrian children? That’s if they aren’t dead
They’ll be lucky to find something softer than ground to replace in the night of dread

Now you’ll be thinking “but there are refugees” and yes you’re right there are!
But those are the richest Syrians and they still don’t get very far
What about the poor majority which are left behind?
Will you say “it’s not my responsibility”? cause that’s the biggest lie.

We are all humans created in the same way
So why should watching the deaths of others make everything okay?
If you really do think that, let me tell you you’re very wrong.
We should help these people live and help them stay strong.

Wouldn’t you expect help if you were in their place?
I bet you would, you’d beg and plead, crumbs of bread you’d chase!
So turning your back on them is a heartless, evil thing
How could you even bare to ignore all the crying and the pleading?

And what about all those 1 and 2 pence some of us throw around?
Shouldn’t we collect them instead of watching them hit the ground?
We are all 1000 kids, times that by a penny each day
After a week we’d have 70 pounds ready to send away!

And so my classmates and I, around forms we’ll go
Collecting for these people to watch their happiness grow
Because it makes me truly happy to create smiles
On faces with the same blood as us, we’ll help them from here, the British Isles.

For the past 4 years I’ve been watching all this war on screens
And now decided it’s time to do something rather than hear those bombs and screams
So we should all help each other rise to become stronger
Because watching deaths and killing won’t help any longer

Roukagia Afan