On behalf of the Syrian American Medical Society or SAMS, the Syrian American Diaspora and the Syrian people, I convey our deep condolences and prayers to the family of Peter Kassig and the people of Indiana.
On behalf of the 200,000 Syrians killed in the Syrian genocide, the one million injured and disabled for life, the 10 million civilians displaced from their homes and the 12 million people in need, I say, as we say in Syria when we loose a brother, "to God we belong and to Him we shall return." May God reward you for your fortitude and resilience.
Like James Foley, Steven Solotoff and Dr Abbas Khan, Abdul Rahman Kassig will be remembered as one of the few humanitarians that stood with the Syrian people during the worst humanitarian disasters in our lifetime. He joined more than 560 Syrian health care doctors, nurses and medics who were killed on duty while saving lives.
The Syrian American community, although small, has huge contributions to the welfare to our society, here in the US. Close to 10% of our doctors are Syrian Americans treating and healing millions of our fellow citizens. Indiana's previous Governor, Mitch Daniels, is Syrian American and so was Steve Jobs.
Syrians would like to be remembered as the first people who invented cities, colors, music, glass and alphabet. They are the descendants of John the Baptist, the great Muslim leader Saladin and Imam Hussein. Syria is the only nation, where Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, is spoken today by three villages, one Christian and two Muslim.
SAMS is one of the few humanitarian organizations that have been addressing the health care needs of the Syrian people throughout the four year crisis. Like Peter, we want to alleviate suffering and help those in need. Like Peter, we helped training hundreds of Syrian doctors, nurses and medics on how to deliver medical aid to civilians and how to save lives.
We have established field hospitals, mobile clinics, trauma centers, Intensive Care units, birth centers, primary care centers, training programs for Syrian doctors and nurses, comprehensive hospital services, refugee health services in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, psychosocial program and cross border medical relief programs to areas difficult to reach or under siege throughout Syria.
We believe that every person has the right to live and seek medical care. We believe in medical neutrality, that every person has the right to be treated if sick or injured during conflicts regardless of their affiliation, a principle enshrined by international humanitarian law and Geneva conventions. We believe that people of conscious have to work, as Peter put it "against all odds to do something."
I am confident that the Syrian people who knew Peter and loved him as a person and as a humanitarian will one day establish a school, a hospital and a foundation under his name. His legacy will outlive the criminals who took his life away.
SAMS is humbled to have been chosen as the recipient of your donations by the Kassig's family. SAMS has decided to establish a special fund called "Abdul Rahman Peter Kassig's fund" that will be used to support medics, nurses and doctors in Syria.
Donations will keep the legacy of Peter and his contributions to humanity alive. This is what he was put here by God Almighty to do.