Saturday, 29 March 2014


I don’t usually stray from fashion or design when it comes to my blog but since this is my voice online I want to use this opportunity to share a really important event in my life, and hundreds of others in this situation.

You may have seen the #SaveKessab campaign on twitter or facebook, especially if you have any Armenian friends, as this is an attack on Armenians and Christians and not just against the Syrian government.  

All we ask of you is to simply help raise awareness to create some strain on politicians and humanitarian organizations across the world to step up and stop Turkey’s government from aiding these attacks that are making matters ten times worse. Please simply share #SaveKessab across social media, that’s all we ask. Help us spread the word!

If Khloe Kardashian can support it, so can you

I understand some of you might wonder why I am addressing this type of topic on a blog about fashion and events, and might want to close this tab right about now, and I don’t really like to get too involved with politics but unfortunately when events like this affects you personally it gives you a completely different outlook. Even though I considered myself partly a Syrian civilian and was saddened by what I’d see happening there in the past three years, I couldn't completely fathom the extent of the situation there until I realised I, and others like me, will probably never be able to experience the true Kessab ever again. 

Kessab: My parents’ hometown

My parents were born and raised in an Armenian town in Syria called Kessab. Ever since I was born I’ve spent every single summer there in the beautiful northern coast of the Lattakia region in Syria located on the border of Turkey.

Kessab consists of 10 villages that are predominantly occupied by Armenian Christians. I have countless memories of my grandparents, relatives and family friends from both sides of my family throughout these villages.

A few years back, my dad renovated my great grandmother’s house where we used to stay before our regular visits stopped ever since the war broke out in Syria 3 years ago. My parents and my grandmother still went back and forth between Kessab and Dubai until about 2 months ago since that area remained peaceful despite the struggles in other areas of the country. 

This all changed a few days ago when, on the 21st of March, the peaceful town of Kessab was attacked by the rebel forces linked to Al-Qaeda terrorist groups who entered freely from the borders of Turkey (there is an actual video of them just walking past without even a word from the Turkish border control). These attacks led to the 670 Armenian families living there, including some of our relatives, to flee the town without any belongings to the neighbouring towns of Lattakia and Bassit. Currently they are in Lattakia; the families with no relatives or friends in the area to take them in, are sleeping on the floors in the Armenian Church in Lattakia.

As for the churches and houses back in Kessab, the rebels have robbed and destroyed them while taking some of the remaining civilians, like the elderly who were unable to flee, as hostage. And the houses that have not been destroyed yet, are being occupied by the rebels who are making themselves at home in the houses that took these civilians a lot of effort to build.

I watched a video taken and posted by the rebels advocates, celebrating their raid by driving along the main streets of Kessab and destroying the statue of the president. The street was a ghost town and only filled with rummage and debris. This sight shot goosebumps down my spine as I have walked on that exact street a million times while staying with my cousins at my aunt’s house or my uncle’s house just a mere 5 minute walk each from there. That street was always crowded and full of life with people just going there to hang out and get some food or groceries. We used to go down there for walks to get dinner or some ice-cream, and it was the only place I knew outside of Armenia where everyone spoke Armenian including all the neighbours, the vendors and supermarket owners. 

My parents were planning on building a house in Kessab in the land that my grandfather left them before the war broke out in Syria and planned to retire there in a few short years. Now the faith of a whole town is unknown as we hope that one day we can all go back.

Thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by this ordeal and I hope that peace is restored in our beautiful town soon.

Please help us raise awareness by sharing #SaveKessab on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and so on.

Please watch this press conference with the Syrian UN ambassador, Jaafari, where he addresses the Kessab attack at minute 7:27 and explains the situation.

And here are a few other articles, written in English, if you want to learn more about this situation:

- My cousin's personal articles in an armenian online newspaper: PART 1 and PART 2

 If you have any questions you can tweet (@7autumnleaves) or comment here, I appreciate your support!