Pagans donating to Syrian relief - In Yana's name

A personal campaign sponsored by Cara Schulz
March 21, 2013 — March 28, 2013

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This donation page was created in tribute to my friend Yana, who was killed in Syria in late June.

Because of security concerns, she was killed due to her faith, neither her real name or photo can be used for this tribute page.

Yana lived in an area of Syria where the fighting was intense. Last June she, like other Pagans in the area, no longer responded to attempts at communication. I hoped she had fled with her family or was staying quiet to avoid detection. She told me the rebels were targeting women and she was especially afraid they would find out she was Pagan.

Some time in late June, Yana’s brother, who had become radicalized, informed the rebels that his sister was a Pagan. They took her, tortured her, then her brother publicly denounced her as a whore and a witch. After that, she was drug out onto the street, raped, and killed.

What I remember about Yana is she was always joking, always smiling. She injected joy into everything she did, from talking about the Gods she honored to showing off her latest hair style. She had more hair combs than anyone I’ve ever known. She wanted to come to America and eat bacon. She was fascinated and repelled by the thought of bacon so I would tell her about putting it in chocolate and on maple ice cream. She was nervous about getting married. Her father doted on her and she worried a husband might not be so kind or forgiving of her free spirit. She told me younger men like to show how manly they are so she thought about telling her parents to find an older man for her to marry. It was hard to see her become less exuberant as the fighting started, and then drew closer. To see fear creep in and hear from her less often. How sad she was that she never left her home anymore because it wasn’t safe.

Yana wasn’t a warrior, that wasn’t her path in life, but she died as one. If you are able, please consider donating to Doctors Without Borders. Many people are hurt and injured and they need your help.

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