WUFT News

70 Balloons Project raises UF awareness of Syrian conflict

By on March 28th, 2013

Sameer Saboungi released 70 black balloons Thursday, letting them fly high above the Plaza of the Americas and raising awareness of the Syrian conflict.

Saboungi, creator of the 70 Balloons Project, said many students don’t have a clear idea of the Arab Spring and what it was. UF Amnesty International hosted the public art installment to raise awareness about the civil war in Syria.

“Each balloon counts for 1,000 persons killed in Syria, and there are 70 balloons for the current death toll of 70,000 people killed in Syria,” Saboungi said.

“They know that something’s going on, but we’re hoping that by this visual representation, by this art installation, that they can get a real idea of how big the whole humanitarian disaster there is,” he said.

The Arab Spring began in 2011, when 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia publicly set himself on fire after allegedly getting slapped in the face by a policewoman.

The protest sparked a revolution in Tunisia, a movement that spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen and other countries. In March 2011, a civil war broke out in Syria after an uprising of peaceful political protests against the Assad governments.

President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have reportedly killed more than 70,000 people in two years.

“And so the humanitarian situation there is a disaster. Four million people are displaced, one million are refugees, people have no food, the army is bombing civilian areas. So it’s a disaster,” Saboungi said.

Saboungi’s family lives in Syria. He said when most students discover he is Syrian, they ask him questions about the country.

He said he feels it is important for students to become aware of the turmoil in Syria.

“Just like what happened in Darfur, Bosnia, Kosovo and all these countries. You students need to be active,” he said.

According to UF Amnesty International’s!Facebook (stop linking just one word. it’s not correct. dr. rodgers has provided multiple resources on proper linking this semester), The 70 Balloons Project was an adaptation of a larger installment in Pittsburgh.

Sarah Brand wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in University of Florida and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in University of Florida

featuredimage

UF Developing Its First On-Campus Food Pantry

The University of Florida is developing an on-campus food pantry for students. The pantry will offer free, nutritious food and will be available mid-summer to those with a valid UF ID.


Coach Billy Donovan calls out to plays to his team while pacing the court.

Thunder Reach Agreement To Hire Florida’s Donovan

Florida coach Billy Donovan has agreed to become the Oklahoma City Thunder’s next coach. Donovan replaces Scott Brooks, who was fired last week.


A veteran sits outside the ZBT fraternity on University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Fla. Friday, April 24, 2015.

UF Chapter Of ZBT To Close Immediately

In the wake of allegations of misconduct at an event in Panama City Beach, the University of Florida’s Zeta Beta Tau chapter will close as of Tuesday. Members of the fraternity were accused of disrespecting wounded veterans.


Members of the University of Florida chapter of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity are under investigation after spitting on and taking flags from wounded veterans. The students and veterans were in Panama City Beach when the incident occurred.

UF Zeta Beta Tau Under Investigation After Disrespecting Veterans

The University of Florida chapter of Zeta Beta Tau is under investigation after disrespecting wounded veterans at an event in Panama City Beach. While the fraternity has suspended its actions, the university is looking into further sanctions.


Ayden Geary, 8, comes face-to-face with a Madagascar hissing cockroach. “It’s cute,” he said.

UF’s BugFest Opens To The Public For The First Time

The UF Entomology Club’s fifth annual BugFest opened to the public for the first time on Saturday. Entomology students helped give local children a hands-on experience with bugs, from handling exotic critters to tasting bug-infused cuisine.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments