A Syrian refugee, who is a Sunni Muslim, has created a website to thank Israelis and tell the world of the great work that Israel and various Jewish organisations are doing to help Syrian refugees.
The website, Thank You Am Israel, highlights the humanitarian aid being given to displaced Syrians and also refutes any reasons why Israelis and Syrians should be enemies.
Am Israel is Hebrew for “the nation of Israel”.
Dandachi blogs: “Turned away from Arab countries, increasingly unwelcome in Europe, Syrian refugees have found support, aid and assistance from the last place they could have expected: Israeli and Jewish organizations and individuals.
“While thousands of Syrians languish on the borders of neighboring countries, Israeli medical teams and hospitals have been tireless and unstinting in treating Syrians in need . . . Israeli and Jewish organizations are, despite considerable personal risk, on the ground in Greece and the Balkans, providing aid and assistance to the seemingly endless wave of refugees fleeing the mayhem of the Middle East.”
Dandachi, a 39-year-old high-tech project manager, left his hometown of Homs in September 2013 for Lebanon and then made his way to Turkey. He now resides in Istanbul.
“I grew up with statements like ‘These people are your enemies. The Jews are evil.’ And then I saw that the Jews are the most humane and generous people of this era.”
Dandachi started the website to spread the truth and thank Israel and Jewish organisations.
“As a Syrian, I am morally obligated to ensure that the goodwill that Israelis and Jews have displayed towards my people will not be overlooked nor forgotten. The day will come when the conflict in Syria will come to an end, as all things come to an end. On that day, it is imperative that Syrians reciprocate the enormous goodwill shown towards us by Israelis and the Jewish people. Whatever supposed reasons we may have had to be adversaries is dwarfed by the compassion shown to us during our darkest days, a time when we have nothing to give back except our gratitude,” writes Dandachi in a January opinion article on his site.
His work has been welcomed by his fellow Syrians.
In an interview to Israel21c, he said, “what surprised me is the feedback from Arabs. I was expecting hostility from Arabs and instead a surprising number have told me that I’m saying what they can’t say and that I should keep saying what I’m saying. It surprised me the number of Arabs and refugees like me who say that.”
To read more about his story at Israel21c, click here.