Stop Starvation in Syria | End the Blockades

Call to Join the International Hunger Strike

Picture source

Syrians are slowly dying of malnutrition – but not for lack of food.  A military blockade surrounds dozens of Syrian towns.  This starvation siege prevents 1.5 million Syrians from receiving food or medicine.

Qusai Zakarya is one of them.  He is 28 years old.  Qusai declared a hunger strike on November 26, to demand food and medicine be allowed to reach civilians across military lines in Syria.  “We are all hungry here in my hometown anyway.  Let me be hungry for a purpose,” Qusai says.

We are starting the first phase of a “rolling” solidarity hunger strike onFriday, December 20, where someone will do a hunger strike every day in support of the hunger strikers in Syria through the rest of December.

We are also working on putting together a list of supporters for launching a larger campaign leading up to the Geneva Conference in January.  We are asking that you commit to one day of a symbolic hunger strike and that you give us permission to put your name on the materials to publicize the hunger strikes more widely.  We also ask, if you are able, to send in a photo of yourself or group to, maybe with a sign illustrating your participation.

Our goals:

  • To call for food and medicine now to all besieged towns in Syria.
  • To call for a binding resolution from the UN Security Council requiring the regime in Syria and all armed parties to allow humanitarian organizations immediate unfettered access to aid the civilian population without discrimination, including cross-border access and cross-line access (from regime-controlled areas into rebel-controlled areas).
  • To alert media and political representatives to this situation.
  • To support this act of civil resistance in Syria.

Can you join us this holiday season in standing in solidarity with Syrians?  People of conscience everywhere must act to break the siege that is affecting over a million people.
In Solidarity and Hope,

  • Gilbert Achcar, Professor, University of London
  • Fadia Afashe, Syrian refugee in the U.S.
  • Taysir Alkarim, Syrian revolution field doctor, former prisoner of conscience, Syrian Nonviolence Movement
  • Maryam Alkhawaja, Acting President, Bahrain Center for Human Rights
  • Zainab Alkhawaja, Activist now in Bahraini prison
  • Iyad Alsamsam, Syrian American Engineers Association, SAEA
  • Rime Allaf, Syrian writer
  • Dr. Tayseer Alkarim, Physician, Syrian Nonviolence Movement & former political prisoner
  • Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, Lecturer, University for the Creative Arts, U.K.
  • Huwaida Arraf, Palestinian-American, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement
  • Reza Aslan, Author, University of California-Riverside, U.S.
  • Lina Sergie Attar, Karam Foundation
  • Mark Bartolini, former director, Office of United States Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
  • Seyla Benhabib, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, Yale University, U.S.
  • Medea Benjamin, Code Pink director, U.S.
  • Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director, Interfaith Center of New York
  • Ariane Brunet, Co-founder of Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Rights, Canada
  • Terry Burke, Friends for a NonViolent World, U.S.
  • Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.
  • Annia Ciezadlo, writer and journalist, U.S.
  • Andrei Codrescu, Poet & founder of Exquisite Corpse literary journal
  • Juan Cole, History professor, University of Michigan & Informed Comment blog author
  • Molly Crabapple, artist and writer
  • Simon Critchley, Professor of Philosophy, The New School (New York)
  • Gail Daneker, Friends for a NonViolent World, U.S.
  • Bernardine Dorn, Clinical professor & founding director, Children and Family Justice, U.S.
  • Keith Ellison, U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District
  • Mona Eltahawy, Egyptian feminist writer
  • Jodie Evans, Co-founder, CODEPINK: Women for Peace
  • Raed Fares, Media Office Director for the Town of Kafr Nbel, Syria
  • Richard Falk, Professor emeritus of international law, Princeton University, U.S.
  • Bill Fletcher, Jr, American writer & activist
  • Dirk Ficca, former director, Parliament of the World’s Religions
  • Norman Finkelstein, Political scientist, professor, and author, U.S.
  • Carolyn Forche, poet, U.S.
  • Razan Ghazzawi, Syrian media activist & former political prisoner
  • Penny Gill, Mary Lyon Professor of Humanities, Mount Holyoke Collete, U.S.
  • Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Co-Founder of Shomer Shalom Network of Jewish Nonviolence
  • Jürgen Habermas, German philosopher
  • Marilyn Hacker, American poet
  • Yassin al-Haj Saleh, Syrian writer & former political prisoner
  • Rola Hallam, British-Syrian Physician
  • Nader Hashemi, University of Denver, U.S.
  • Budour Hassan, Palestinian anarchist activist, Nazereth
  • Adam Hochschild, American author, & founder of Mother Jones Magazine
  • Josh Hoyte, former director of Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
  • Afra Jalabi, Syrian Nonviolence Movement
  • Emad Jandali, physician, Syrian Sunrise Foundation, SSF
  • Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, Director of North American Programs, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights-North America)
  • Tarak Kauff, Board of directors, U.S. Veterans for Peace
  • Kathy Kelly, Iranian Voices for Creative Nonviolence, U.S.
  • Vinay Lay, Professor of History, UCLA
  • Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor-in-chief, Tikkun, U.S.
  • Michael Nagler, Metta Center for Nonviolence, U.S.
  • David Miliband, President, International Rescue Committee
  • Trita Parsi, Swedish-Iranian author and political scientist
  • Mitchell PlitnickSouciant (former director, Jewish Voice for Peace)
  • Danny Postel, University of Denver
  • Hilary Putnam, philosopher, Harvard University, U.S.
  • Leonard Rodberg, Professor & Chair of Urban Studies, Queens College, U.S.
  • Kenneth Roth, Executive director, Human Rights Watch
  • Jawdat Said, Syrian nonviolence teacher for over fifty years
  • Muhamed Sacirbey, Former Bosnian Foreign Minister, & Signatory of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court
  • Omid Safi, Iranian-American academic & blogger on progressive Muslim spirituality
  • Zaher Sahloul, President, Syrian American Medical Society
  • Saskia Sassen, Robert F. Lynd Professor of Sociology & Co-Chair of the Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University, New York
  • Bill Scheurer, Executive Director on On Earth Peace and the National Council Chair of the Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • Joseph E. Schwartzberg, Distinguished International Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota
  • Richard Sennet, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics & New York University
  • Adam Shatz, Senior Editor, London Review of Books, U.K.
  • Annie Sparrow, Pediatric intensivist and public health physician, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, U.S.
  • Rev. Kristin Stoneking, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • Haris Tarin, Muslim Public Affairs Council, MPAC
  • Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director, The Shalom Center
  • Paul Woodward, Editor at War in Context, U.S.
  • Marvin X, Black Arts Movement poet & activist, U.S.
  • Robin Yassin-Kassab, Novelist & editor, U.K.
  • Leila Zand, Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • Slavoj Žižek, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies, University of San Francisco, U.S.

(organizations listed for identification only)

Join us! Please sign up by sending your information to


Date you will participate in hunger strike (December 2- through January 22):


Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

17 thoughts on “Stop Starvation in Syria | End the Blockades”

  1. Pingback: CITIZENSHIP -
  2. Dear All,

    Great initiative.. One thing, the picture you have used to promote the imitative which is the spoon ad is owned to Rasael Soria page. And this wad not mentioned on your post. I appreciate if you mention about the original source of the image whiteout deleting the owner logo.

  3. This is hypocrisy , you put assad regime and rebels in one basket !!?

    You dont even differentiate between armed and pacific rebels!

    Is this a call for Humanitarian aid or a political statement that rings well and appeal to all these big names signing up!!???

    No need for such sympathy for food with signatures bearing big BRAND names like yours?? Should you be able to say the truth and Differentiate bad from good that will be enough! Many like petitions have been sympathizing with Palestinians for 65 years now!

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