In response to the ongoing conflict in Syria, the Western University and London community attended a student-organized vigil Tuesday. The event raised awareness and encouraged the community to take action.

Waseem Kazzah, fourth-year accounting and political science student, organized a silent vigil on the evening of Feb. 27 at Western’s Concrete Beach in front of the University Community Centre.

The vigil focused on the children and civilians from Eastern Ghouta, Syria, where bombings from the Syrian government and allied Russian forces have killed more than 500 people in the last two weeks.

“I can’t just stand and do nothing,” said Kazzah. “The point of the vigil is to raise awareness and tell people how they can take action instead of just praying for them.”

Kazzah created a Facebook event page that was open to anyone who was interested in the community. Around 50 people attended the event.

Kazzah pointed out that one of the most effective ways to bring attention to the conflict is to contact elected officials and representatives in parliament.

“The government can send humanitarian aid, condemn the bombings on civilians or encourage the UN to do more,” said Kazzah. “It’s not hard to take the initiative to do this for those who are suffering.”

He also commented on helping the local Syrian refugees by listening to them and advocating on their behalf.

“We have to be the voice of the voiceless,” said Kazzah.