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As an addendum to my previous blog post on the mass murder going on in Syria, I wanted to include some links I’ve since found that connect a community.  The first is on an online newspaper that aggregates stories about the crisis from around the web using Twitter.  (My blog post was featured on the front page of the February 12th edition (!), and can be seen here: http://paper.li/arab_revolt/1308958945/2012/02/12)  As far as I can tell, this newspaper (as well as a few others on various revolutionary movements around the world) is due to the tireless work of a single person behind the Twitter handles Revolutions Info and Revolutions Info 2.  If you’re reading this, and you’re interested, definitely follow this person.  His or her information is invaluable.  The link to that newspaper is here: http://paper.li/arab_revolt/1308958945

Another thing I wanted to include was a petition to Chinese President Hu Jintao, started by a Kuwaiti woman who was outraged that China and Russia vetoed a United Nations resolution denouncing the violence in Syria.  With Russia’s veto, some asked why China would veto as well.  There is speculation on Chinese issues with Turkish influence, its Uighur population, and its posture in relation to the United States.  The Syria situation should be a cause for global concern, however.  Denouncing horrific violence against fellow human beings should not require a second thought.  Even if this petition doesn’t do much concretely, at least it can stand as a symbol that people from all around the world are united for this common cause and stand with the people of Syria against the damaging actions by representatives of countries like China and Russia (though, in this case, the petition is particularly directed at China).  If you would like to sign this petition, you can click the link here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/10/stop-the-murder-in-syria/?cid=FB_Share

Last night, I saw “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”.  The take away of this movie is the importance of connections.  It was an incredible movie that didn’t sugarcoat the fact that terrible things happen in the world, you can never truly be safe, and sometimes people enact horrific acts of violence, destroying the lives of people they don’t even know.  It also served to underscore the beauty of the world and the humanity of most people.  Like E.M. Forster’s ethic “only connect”, one of the most meaningful endeavors in life is to connect with those around you.  As individuals, we can come together in a way that affects the lives of those miles away, all around the world.  I include this sentiment because it resonates with the idea that we should all be informed about Syria, to tell others, and to do what we can, but also because we should strive to strengthen our connections with those close to us and to treat people with kindness and compassion.  It’s trite to say so, but plenty of people take each other for granted and treat each other terribly.  If we can each do little things to make a difference in other people’s lives, the world could be a better place.

This is a short post, and not very politically charged.  Its aim is simple and direct: only connect.