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Wonder: How the war in Syria began

I’ve been trying to understand what’s happening in Syria and why it began. If you’re curious about this, too, here is the story in a very brief nutshell; it’s a sad, twisted, and cautionary tale of graffiti by children, an ego-maniacal President, and the danger of silently normalizing hideous behavior.

5 years ago Syrian civilians decided to peacefully protest after 15 schoolchildren were arrested – and reportedly tortured – for writing anti-government graffiti on a wall. Government forces opened fired on the protesters killing 4 people. Then they open fired on the mourners at the funerals of those 4 people the following day killing 1 more person.

The people then rose up to meet violence with violence. About 3 years later an organization calling itself IS for Islamic State got involved. Taking advantage of the chaos and desperation, IS escalated the matter even further by retaliating against anyone who didn’t hold IS’s extreme religious views. Then Russia uses its muscle to support the Syrian government, the US and UK make some attempts to support the rebels, some countries slowly crack open the door to welcome Syrian refugees, and the vast majority of the rest of the world sits on its hands, waits, and watches as hundreds of thousands of innocent people are murdered without cause or reason.

Here we are 5 years later and some estimates state that roughly 500,000 people have been killed. All because Syria’s government felt threatened by the graffiti of children and the calls of its people for greater freedom of expression and democracy. It defies reason and any semblance of sanity. This is the damage that one man can cause. This is what the ego, when left unchecked, can do to an entire nation of people. Let that sink in.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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