While I was walking to work this morning, September practically smacked me in the face. Why does summertime always fly by!!? I started to think about all of the awesome things I did these past few weeks — hiking with my family, going to the beach with friends, bowling with the Channel One team, visiting the CIA, golfing with my boyfriend, and interviewing students in South Carolina. The month of August was feeling pretty amazing.
Then I got to the newsroom and saw this story: August was Syria’s deadliest month yet.
“The past month witnessed large massacres and the regime was conducting wide operations to try to crush the uprising,” said Omar Idilbi, a Cairo-based activist with the Local Coordination Committees group. “Last month’s acts of violence were unprecedented.”
For 17 months, Syria’s bloody civil war has torn the country apart. The updates are never upbeat, the visuals are never glamorous, and the news isn’t exactly “new,” but we continue to cover this story because it is extremely important.
A few sobering statistics from the AP article:
- Syria’s uprising has been the bloodiest in the Arab Spring that has already removed long-serving authoritarian leaders in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya.
- The death toll is at an estimated 23,000 to 26,000 according to activist groups. That averages out to about 1,300-1,500 deaths per month, making the August figure more than three times higher than average.
- The U.N. children’s fund UNICEF put the death toll for last week alone at 1,600, the largest weekly figure for the entire uprising.
We are currently working on a story about this this for tomorrow’s show, and for many of you viewers, it will be the first day of the school year.
I know it’s hard to go back to class after summer (and back to work after a holiday weekend), but please take a minute to be thankful for the fall — we are incredibly lucky to live in America.