Monday, February 25, 2013

Syria - Why do I care?

Because of my deep passion for the Syrian situation I have been repeatedly asked if I have a Syrian background, have loved ones in Syria or if I once lived there. The answer to each of those questions is no. 

I love people and abhor injustice. What is happening in Syria (and other countries) is beyond unjust. We live in a time when we should have matured beyond our current limited global political development. We should not stand for a leader of a country imprisoning, torturing, sniping, bombing and targeting civilians with SCUD missiles. Spiritual and moral bankruptcy is all that comes to mind.

Quantum physics shows that we are all one. What separates us are our beliefs, egos and fears. Nothing physical. What patch of the earth we are born on doesn’t change our human status.

We are humans first above all else. There’s so much more that binds us than separates us. We are global citizens of planet earth. When one human suffers we all suffer. How one can especially view children being sniped, tortured, bombed, and in agony and not be moved is beyond my comprehension.

Syrians are some of the most loving people I have ever met. They are my sisters and brothers. What happens to them happens to me. That is the foundation of my passion.

Gina Panzieri

In collaboration with:

Syrian American Medical Society

Monday, February 18, 2013

Video Documentary of Syrian American Medical Society's impact 2012

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) has made an amazing impact on the lives of so many suffering Syrians. I am honored to share with you the video documenting some of that impact. This was released at SAMS 2nd Annual Conference Gala Dinner in Tampa, Florida  Saturday evening 2.16.13.

After watching I ask of you two things: (1) please consider how you can help in this desperate situation? (2) And then email me so we can work together and make a difference. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Syrian American Medical Society, P.O. Box 1015, Canfield, OH  44406    330.286.0325

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Recently released Khitam Benyan talks of horrors in Assad regime prison

"22 days have passed after my release from detention and I feel so hysterical, questions never stop in my mind, memories of the people I met in prison never leave me..Everyone is telling me you will forget and you will adapt, but no I shall never forget what I saw inside those horrible prisons of the regime.

I shall never forget ( Um Tayim a 25 woman) who was called for the captain’s office at midnight to return back in a total shock after being brutally raped twice. I shall never ever forget the tears on her face nor her calling Allah to help her.

I shall never forget ( Muna Al Wadi)’s face when they told her she is going to be executed tomorrow at 10 o’clock.
I shall never forget the voice of (Ala’a Kayyal) the 20 years old girl, when she asked me to check her back after coming from a torture session.

I shall never ever forget the shivering nor the trembling of ( Elham) when she had an epileptic seizure, and the guards mocking her and accusing her of performing a role.

I shall never forget ( Thana’a Al Hasan) a 45 years old woman when she had a stroke and she couldn’t breathe, we called the guards and we screamed hardly but no one responded, I shall never ever in my life forget her tears going down like a river crying for her children and because she was dying without being able to see them.
Tell me, how can I ever forget those people and lead a normal life while most of them are still in the dark cells..Their faces, their pain and their screams are haunting me..

They are alive but in fact they are not..Please help them, free them."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Video interview with Jamal Iqtish regarding his meeting with UN Health Svcs Director in Amman who confirmed UN aid $ going to Assad regime

Interview with Jamal Iqtish regarding his meeting with UN Health Services Director in Amman who confirmed UN aid $ going to Assad regime.

After an international outcry against the UN funding the Assad regime,  the UN and some of its agencies are now saying that UN Humanitarian Aid to Syria is NOT going to the Assad regime.  These new comments are mere rhetoric meant to distract from the truth.

The UN's plan  - named the Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan for Syria (1 January – 30 June 2013) also referred to as HARP – was created by The Government of Syria, in collaboration with UN agencies.  You can read the plan details on the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs website:  ttp://

According to this plan,  the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates is the Syrian Government focal point in charge of the supervision of aid distribution.
The  Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in the Arab Republic of Syria is (or was) Walid Al MoallemHe denies that his regime is dropping bombs on, illegally kidnapping, torturing and murdering civilians, etc. Here’s an example of his position as demonstrated by his letter to the UN dated 7.19.12. Bear in the mind the war in Syria has been going on for a year and a half at the time he wrote this letter:
As recently as the 23rd of January the UN denied it was giving aid money to the Assad regime.  In an article by Olivia Alabaster in Lebanon’s ‘The Daily Star’, you’ll see the denial. You’ll also note that the article discusses the Syrian Opposition’s petition against the UN. If the UN’s money was going where it was needed – including to Opposition-held areas – there would be no need for this petition. Article here:

I was in Amman, Jordan at the end of January volunteering with Syrian refugees. I met with the Syrian American Medical Society’s (SAMS) Amman Advisory, Jamal Iqtish. The prior afternoon he and other SAMS members met with the UN Health Services Director in Amman. This UN Director is responsible for overseeing distribution in Jordan, Iraq and Syria. He outright stated that UN aid money is given to the Assad regime. Here’s the recorded interview with Jamal Iqtish in Amman:

Jordan's King Abdullah II and Jamal Iqtish

I respectfully request the UN to publish its aid distribution information to the international community. Its plan calls for detailed record keeping so we know its taking place. Please prove us wrong. 

In the interim I ask that you DO NOT donate money to the UN or any of its agencies until such time as the UN can prove it is distributing aid to the most needy in Syrian Opposition-held areas. Do not allow the UN to further fund the perpetrator of this horrific Syrian regime created disaster.

There are a number of terrific non-profits that you can donate to where you can be assured the aid is going to those truly in need. 

The Syrian American Medical Society’s Save Syrian Lives Campaign is a perfect example:

US Journalist James Foley kidnapped in Syria 11.22.12

Press Release: Seeking Information Regarding the Location of Missing Reporter James "Jim" Foley

Seeking Information Regarding the Location of Missing Reporter James "Jim" Foley. 
His Family is Using Social Media Advertising to Seek Information
BOSTON, Mass. - Feb. 5, 2013 - The people of Syria and the surrounding region are asked to come forward and provide information regarding the location of journalist James "Jim" Foley.Today's announcement is part of a comprehensive publicity campaign using traditional media as well as Facebook and Twitter to generate information about Jim's location from the Syrian people and others in the region.
Through social media advertising the Foley family is publicizing their search for Jim and for information about his location. Jim was last seen near Taftanaz, Syria on November 22, 2012 in the Idib region of Syria near Turkey.
The advertising on social media is intended to reach people in the Syrian region who may have information about Jim's location. "Social media has transformed how people communicate and share information," said John Foley, the father of Jim. "Our family believes that someone in Syria knows what happened to Jim, where he is located and we hope that person contacts us."
For more information visit .
Foley Family

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Irbid, Jordan Syrian refugees

Irbid, Jordan. We were in a back room of a tiny three room clinic jam-packed with Syrian refugees. Dr. Albiek was gently and lovingly assessing infants and children. A woman, covered in a black burqa came in with two children. She was talking with the doctor and haltingly said that her husband had been killed and she was alone with 12 children. The burqa didn’t hide her distress. I hugged and held her. She sobbed. Then collected her children, was handed some money discreetly in her hand and she left blending into the solid mass of people.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Zakra, Jordan - New Syrian Refugee Camp

Zakra Syrian Refugee Camp should be move-in ready around 2.8.13  It will hold 5 500 people housed in trailers, also known as Caravans. 

It will have 4 schools, a  kitchen for every 50 caravans and the same for the bathroom facilities and has solar power.

Thanks to Rita Zawaideh of Salaam Cultural Museum for the photos and information.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Jamal Iqtish 1.31.13 discussing SAMS January Mission & needs

A team of physicians, nurses and humanitarians went to Jordan the week of January 25, 2013 through February 2, 2013 to volunteer with Syrian refugees in Irbid, Zaatari, Amman and the border in collaboration with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). 

Quick recap by Jamal Iqtish, SAMS Advisory in Jordan:

Syrian American Medical Society
P.O.Box 1015 
Canfield, OH 44406
Phone             (866) 809-9039 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (866) 809-9039      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Atlantic Humanitarian Relief
P.O Box 164 
Belchertown, MA 01007