- Lily Cichanowicz
By what means would you be willing to travel? Would the answer change if you were traveling for something you believe in? In the case of those behind Civil March for Aleppo, walking many thousands of kilometers for a cause is well worth it, and peace activists have already embarked on a journey of solidarity, going by foot from Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport to war-ravaged Aleppo in Syria.
Anna Alboth, a Polish journalist, is the one behind the idea’s inception. In what they are calling the Civil March For Aleppo, she and her fellow demonstrators are making this long journey on foot, to call for an end to the Syrian conflict and to raise awareness about the harrowing plight of the Syrian refugees. The fact that you are reading this is evidence that their efforts are working. Covering an average distance of 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) a day, the journey is estimated to take them more than three months to complete. The motivation for the trek was heightened following the recent atrocities committed in Aleppo.
The reason the march is commencing at Berlin’s massive, retired Tempelhof Airport is because this is where the majority of the city’s Syrian refugees are staying. By embarking on such a journey, the organizers wanted people to realize the shared humanity between those fleeing for their lives and those looking on from around the globe, stating on their website: ‘It’s time to act. We’ve had enough of clicking the sad or shocked button on Facebook…’
The route will be similar to those followed by refugees who have made it out of Syria, covering just under 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) across ‘Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey’ before finally arriving in Syria. While it is uncertain what will happen once the demonstration reaches the border between Turkey and Syria, the ultimate aim is to get to Aleppo. Many more will join the marchers for chunks of the journey to show support. Some refugees who made it to Berlin have also joined the cause, in order to raise awareness and aid others who have yet to escape the stark conditions they themselves were able to leave behind.
The group began the march on December 26th with sleeping gear and white flags in tow. You can support the activists and stay updated on their Facebook page, their website, or on their GoFundMe page.