Syrian martyrs' names on saplings during Arbor Day celebrations

Tree-planting campaigns in Syria have continued in cooperation with civil society. 

Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Nazira Sarkis, has underscored the need for supporting youth initiatives that aim to develop society and raise people's awareness in all fields.

The minister sees that the current voluntary experiences in Syria has positive effects and requires continuous support, according to the al-Thawra newspaper [Arabic newspaper].

 Her remarks were made Thursday during the environmental festival  held in cooperation with the voluntary Syrian 'mosaic' team in Bassel al-Assad Auditorium in Damascus.

"Volunteering gives young people a sense of belonging to community  and a sense of responsibility towards social needs of people," the minister said.

On his part, Head of the Syrian mosaic team Rabe'a Khallof underlined that partnership between public sector and civil society help enhance voluntary works among young people and children.

The 4-day festival included an art exhibition, an exhibition on recycling waste plus plays and stories that shed light on environmental protection.

It concluded Friday with planting 250 saplings in al-Qermani park in Damascus.

This year, the Syrian people marked Arbor Day amid hope of achieving victory over terrorism that hit the country.

A school student was quoted on the official news agency (SANA) as saying that we plant a sapling in our school's garden in memory of a martyred classmate.

"last week we planted a sapling in the name of the martyr Ali Ahmad, 12 year-old, who was martyred in a terror mortar fire on Damascus, " the student said two days before the new year.

She added: " We write down the martyr's name and age on the sapling and we promise him/her that we will never surrender and we will continue our study to defeat murders."

Planting trees has become a way to remember Syria's martyrs during the nearly-five year old terror war on the country.

With tears streaming down her face, a teacher said that she is taking care of a tree she planted four years ago when her 20-year-old son martyred  as he was defending the homeland.

"Syria will remain the land of peace," the mother concluded.

Since 1951, Syria holds official celebrations on the Arbor Day and plant large numbers of saplings in all provinces.

Basma Qaddour