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GreekReporter.comGreece'I am here, come and save me': A Message from Syrian Children...

'I am here, come and save me': A Message from Syrian Children Sparked by Pokemon Go Craze Hits Close to Home for Greeks [photos]

pokemon syria 5Pokemon Go is taking the world by storm and has captivated an audience of both old and young as people dive into the virtual-realty screen of their smart phones.
Greeks are no exception to this new craze as the Greek islands to Athens is full of pokemon, pokestops and gyms, although many rural areas have more scarce resources for those wishing to play the virtual game.
As the world enjoys tracking down pokemon, activists in Syria have used the game’s popularity to shed a light on the topic of children suffering in Syria, something that many people can’t be bothered to think about.
Unfortunately, this reality is something that Greeks are confronted with on a daily basis as the refugee crisis illuminates the suffering of migrants up-close and personal in Greece.
At the moment there are some 57,000 migrants living in Greece, having to live in makeshift camps and refugee centers, many without basic modern conveniences. With other European countries refusing to open their borders, it looks as though many of the asylum seekers will continue to live in tents indefinitely with their families and, many times, young children who haven’t had access to proper vaccines or education in years.
The situation on the ground for the children who are living in war-torn Syria is even more dire than those who have managed to escape via the Mediterranean to Greece. Activists have started a campaign of sorts highlighting the children of Syria holding pictures of pokemon, hoping that maybe people will stop and take a moment from playing their games to remember that there are children that need to be saved, and that this war is anything but a game.
pokemon syria 4The children, in photos surrounded by the repercussions of war all around them, have taken pictures holding drawings of the pokemon characters with their name and city of residence written at the bottom with the simple message: “I am here, come and save me.”
pokemon syria 3According to UNICEF more than 35,000 children live trapped in Manbij, a city in the Aleppo Governorate, which poses a great concern for children welfare organizations.
The photos have been released at the hands of the press office of the Syrian Revolutionary Forces, the anti-Bashar al-Assad alliance.
“We want to raise awareness and draw attention to the plight of children in besieged Syrian regions and the suffering of the Syrian people who attacked and killed by the Assad regime and its allies,” a representative from the Syrian Revolutionary Forces said to the Independent.
pokemon syria 2According to statements the press office made to the Independent, the organization was inspired to try to capitalize on the global popularity of the game to try to shed light on the suffering of children in Syria.
The strategy has worked well in spreading the word as the photos have been shared more than 21,500 times on social media.
The attempt to highlight the plight of Syrian children is nothing new for the Campaign of Solidarity for Syria, a UK-based organization that provides political solidarity to the Syrian revolution. In a statement reported by the Independent they wrote: “The Syrians have more pressing problems than to catch Pokemon. If only augmented reality could save lives in Syria.”
pokemon syria 1

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