Updated: Apr 23, 2019
There is a really special person we’d like to highlight to you, someone David holds in high regard as a fellow activist, supporter of peace and defender of the innocent – Rami Adham. Indeed, Rami aka The Toy/Hope Smuggler is someone David regards as a brother; and who we, at Yogabeats regard as family.
In addition to the work David does in Palestine, a few years ago he felt the intense crisis in Syria needed support from Yogabeats Conflict. This was hammered home when David heard that even the Palestinians were reaching out to those suffering there. These people were in need and nobody was listening.
We discovered that one man has been taking on this crisis almost singlehandedly – Rami Adham and we’ve been supporting his efforts ever since.
Rami; also known as The Toy/Hope Smuggler is Syrian and Finnish, currently living in Turkey who takes funds and resources directly into the war zones and the people who are perishing daily due to the heavy shelling. Most pointedly he helps the Syrian children, putting toys directly into their hands to bring some joy into an otherwise bleak, scary existence.
Rami is an angel amongst men. Now on his 34th trip to Syria, he has risked and continues to risk everything to help those in need. Over the last seven years he’s delivered 32k toys, tens of thousands of kilos of food and care for over 400 orphans. The funds he’d tirelessly raised have built three schools, providing education to over 800 children. Wow!
Rami has repeatedly left his own family (wife and six children) back in Finland to follow his calling, risking everything he has to help those less fortunate. However, rather than holding this man up as a hero and thanking him for the incredible work he’s done, Rami hasn’t been treated well by the media, especially in his home country Finland where he lived for 30 years.
The false accusations he has faced around funding terrorism and money laundering from both the media and Finnish government have had a huge impact on him personally and most crushingly, on facilitating getting monies to those he supports. These accusations have been proved false. Rami keeps on going, putting his own reputation, life and mental health secondary to those in need. His resilience in these circumstances is both humbling and an example to us all.
As a journalist writing this article right now I feel ashamed of how my media peers have treated this wonderful man. In a world that is slowly dying with so few of us stepping up to make change, Rami should be commended rather than persecuted. His work should be front page news for the right reasons rather than hidden or questioned. Indeed, the devastation in Syria is still as real today as it was years ago yet to the worlds media its ‘old news’. 700k people have been killed to date with weapons, including prohibitive chemical gas and children are dying of cold, yet I’m told by leading publications that Syria is ‘old news’. This attitude makes me worry that humanity, in the media at least is all but dead.
The Syrian war has been a slowly unfolding catastrophe. After years of living under a dictatorial regime with a lack of democracy and cronyism, the Syrian people took the streets in peaceful protests to demand their rights to freedom. Sadly fighting broke out and thousands were killed by the regime army. Later Iran and Russia joined Asad army to fully occupy Syria displacing millions and forcing millions to become refugees. Seven years of bombs and bullets have left thousands of families homeless and traumatised. Over half the population fled their homes with nothing. They urgently need food, shelter and medical care. They need your help.
If this article has touched even one person to find out more then please check out the Toy Smuggler on Facebook for more information. At Yogabeats we are proud to support Rami so to help him continue saving lives, please donate via Yogabeats Conflict .
Also, if you are a journalist or editor please take this as an open invitation to repost these words with our blessing or speak to us directly. We implore you to show us that humanity within the press is still alive and well and devastation happening in the world is indeed ‘newsworthy’ until that devastation stops.