The war in Syria has raged for five years and claimed the lives of more than a quarter of a million people.
As we report, the United Nations estimates that 17.9 million people still live in Syria — down from 24.5 million before the war broke out. More than 6 million of them are classed as internally displaced after being forced to flee their homes to look for somewhere safer to live.
Award winning gospel musician and former Muslim, Zabuli celebrated her birthday on Wednesday. Rather than flood in pomp and show that comes with the celebration, Zabuli – commonly known as ‘Woman of Steel’ – had a special request to make to Uganda as a nation.
The singer urged all to pray for the nation of Syria. “I am requesting fellow humans who still believe God can so the impossible to put Syria into your prayers,” she said.
She continued, “They need us to stand and believe God for them – Syria will rise again. God is not dead, He is working it out.”
The UN says 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, with 4.5 million of those in hard-to-reach and besieged areas like Deir al-Zour. With unemployment estimated to be running at over 50% (up from 14% in 2011), Syrian families face a daily struggle to make ends meet. Nearly 70% of the population are living in extreme poverty, unable to secure basic food and non-food items.
Between the start of the war in March 2011 and November 2015, Physicians for Human Rights documented 336 attacks on at least 240 medical facilities across the country. These attacks resulted in the deaths of 697 medical personnel, according to the UN.
Just finding a medical facility has become difficult, with more than 40% of the population unable to access basic health services. Of 113 public hospitals, 58% of them either partially functioning or completely out of service.
What caused the uprising?
The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Assad government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for his removal were violently suppressed.