UK

'Jo Cox was stolen from us' - the outpouring of grief from Syria

Jo Cox MP speaking in Parliament Image copyright AFP

The death of Labour MP Jo Cox has led to a range of tributes from around the world including many from Syrians.

The plight of Syrian refugees was among the many causes for which Mrs Cox campaigned.

It was an issue for which she worked tirelessly as she routinely called for Britain to do more to help those caught up in Syria's civil war.

Perhaps this is a reason why Syrians have expressed their grief, adding to the growing voices of those paying tributes on social media.

Shortly after the news broke, the White Helmets, a group of volunteers for the Syrian Civil Defence tweeted their sadness:

Image copyright @SyriaCivilDef/Twitter

BBC Arabic social media producer Nader Ibrahim says: "Minutes after the sad news about Jo Cox was announced, Syrian activists took to social media to express their grief.

"This tweet by the white helmets, or the Syrian civil defence forces, is quite significant since they are literally on the ground operating inside."

Extraordinary amount of grief

Ibrahim adds that the sadness expressed from people in Syria for a British MP is significant. He says: "It is quite surprising to see Syrians, from inside Syria, in a war-torn country, with limited access in a lot of its places to the outside world, tweeting and talking about a British MP who is half way across the world.

"This is especially because a lot of Syrians feel like they've been let down by the West and the international community for not taking enough action to stop the war in their country. So to see them mourning a western MP is quite a thing."

Image copyright @SyrianEU/Twitter

Syrians living in Britain have also been vocal in expressing their sympathies.

Syrian activist Reem Assil is from Damascus and now lives in Cambridge.

Image copyright Saad Ghiba

She posted a tribute to Jo Cox on her Facebook page. It reads:

"Syria, Syrians and especially British Syrian NGOs have lost their best friend in UK Parliament today.

"Jo Cox has not only had a clear point of view when it comes to Syria, she was listening, compassionate, and above all, she was fighting with us for the protection of civilians and justice in Syria.

"Jo Cox, you're a big loss for Britain and for all of us. You'll never be forgotten and we promise to continue the fight for what you dedicated your life for."

Image copyright Karim Jian

Karim Jian is from Aleppo but now lives in Manchester. He says the death of Jo Cox has affected him and other Syrians deeply.

"She was one true advocate for the Syrian people. When Syrians think of a good British MP who we could always rely on, we think of Jo Cox.

"She was kind, honest, and had a good heart. She was the sole beacon of hope for people trying to flee a war zone. Her death saddens us all terribly.

"On behalf of all British Syrians, I would like to send our heartfelt condolences to her family and to the people of the UK as we have lost a truly inspirational woman."

A champion lost

Syria Solidarity UK posted a statement on their website, signed by a number of Syrian organisations. It states:

"Humanity lost a champion when Jo Cox was stolen from us.

"Syrian groups in Britain learned of her last year as a new MP prepared to speak up on Syria after two years of near-silence in the UK Parliament.

"Her view of the crisis was both moral and realistic, rigorous in seeking to understand what was happening, and clear in seeing what could and should be done."

The Syrian Association of Yorkshire released a press release which was shared on Twitter.

Image copyright Syrian Association of Yorkshire

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