The Syrian conflict has preoccupied hearts, minds and newsfeeds around the world for the last 7 years. Stories about Syria are often met with feelings of heartbreak, despair and helplessness. With a such a devastating and politicised conflict, people often feel desperate to reach out and help those who most need it, but are often unsure how they can.
When virtually every side in the conflict has been accused of violence and atrocities in one shape or form, nobody knows where to direct support and resources where they can be sure it reaches the right people – the ordinary people of Syria who once lived normal lives like us but have had their worlds turned upside down by war.
The Syrian Supper Club is trying to change that. What began with a group of friends cooking together to raise money to help Syrians has turned into a movement that has swept across London and the UK. Syrian Supper Clubs allow people to enjoy the best of Syria’s food and culture while knowing that they are making a much-needed contribution to supporting those who have suffered as a result of the conflict.
The proceeds of Syrian Supper Clubs go to the Hands Up Foundation, which supports small, local charities in Syria working directly with innocent civilians who have been affected by the war. Some of the projects they are currently working on include paying salaries to medical staff in Aleppo, providing prosthetic limbs to Syrians on the Turkish border who have been injured by the fighting, and educating children in rural Homs.
And meanwhile, back in the UK, Syrian Supper Clubs are giving back hope to people who have watched, horrified, as the conflict has taken devastating turn after devastating turn, empowering and enabling them to actually do something, however small, to help Syria.
We will be hosting a Syrian Supper Club on my native island – the Isle of Man on 26th April at the island’s favourite cocktail bar, Bath & Bottle.
Every time I return to the Isle of Man I am always inspired by how proactive, community-spirited and kind its people are. We are a small island of just 80,000 people in the middle of the Irish Sea. The residents of our beautiful island (which was recently awarded UNESCO biosphere status) enjoy a very high standard of living, and we could quite easily shut ourselves off from what’s going on elsewhere in the world and get on with our comfortable lives. But we don’t.
The people of the Isle of Man recently raised thousands of pounds to fund an art therapy project for women and children who escaped Islamic State captivity in northern Iraq.
The community’s kindness, generosity and willingness to help people on the other side of the world never cease to amaze me and make me so proud to call this little island home. And this is no exception.
Bath & Bottle have created a beautiful four-course menu inspired by the Middle East, and local businesses are chipping by donating local produce, gin (yes, the Isle of Man distils its own gin – and it’s delicious!) along with amazing raffle prizes to help raise as much money as possible for this incredible cause.
If you’re based on the island, we’d love to see you there!
THANK YOU for your support for this wonderful event and incredible cause!