Syrian actor challenges Assad to spend a night in 'freezing' refugee camp

Taking to YouTube, Ehab Yousef calls on Assad to show solidarity with people by taking "snow bucket challenge."

January 12, 2015 12:41
2 minute read.

Syrian actor challneged Assad to snow bucket challenge

Syrian actor challneged Assad to snow bucket challenge


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Calling on President Bashar Assad to alleviate the plight of Syrian refugees, a Syrian actor challenged the leader of the war-torn state to spend a night in the cold conditions that ordinary Syrians have had to endure.

In a video posted to Youtube and picked up by Al Jazeera, the actor, Ehab Yousef, is seen buried partially in snow while demanding that Assad "needs to come out from his hideout and show support for the people who are dying in the refugee camps". Yousef raised the stakes further, calling on the embattled president to spend a night or two in the abysmal conditions that his people have suffered throughout the winter.

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Syria has been wracked by one of the harshest winters it has seen in decades, weather that has only worsened the fate of some 6.5 million internal refugees, many of whom seek cover in ramshackle shelters in the camps.

Calling it the snow bucket campaign in an attempt to ride the success of last year's popular ice bucket challenge, which raised over $100 million in order to find a cure for ALS disease, Yousef's objectives are to provide refugees with basic amenities.

"I urge all the people around the world to donate whatever they can - money, medicine, blankets - to help the desperate refugees in the camps”, he said.

In the past week, at least seven people have died in Syria from the frigid temperatures, as well as from lack of proper heating and medicine.

The freezing cold is a real concern in a country where electricity is only available for 12 hours each day, and blocked supply routes have raised the price of daily necessities in a country where food is already scarce.

Ealier this month, Syrian state television showed Assad joining his soldiers in the field, eating alongside them in a show of solidarity.

Still, Yousef's challenge stands and echoes the sentiments of million of other refugees littering neighboring countries.

"We are slowly dying here, no one is coming to help us and we have nothing," said one Syrian refugee to Al Jazeera in the Lebanese town of Arsal.

"We have no food, we have no bread, we have no heating oil, and we don't know what to do," she said, crying. "We have been forgotten about and we are going to freeze to death".

Reuters contributed to this report.

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