Marathon Sans Frontières: For Zahra and the millions like her

I won’t win it but I’m running the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 25 to raise money for Syria through Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders. Every cent I raise is going toward MSF’s humanitarian efforts in Syria or to assist Syrian refugees fleeing the country.
Fundraising continues. I’ve raised €1,053 so far, including the $250 prize AP gave me for my work in Nice. I already lodged €600 in MSF’s Irish bank account, so that should be put to good use even before I run the first of those 42.195 kilometers.
Of course I hope to raise more over the next five weeks (only!) before the big day. Every little contribution will help alleviate someone’s suffering.
And people are suffering in ways you cannot imagine. MSF-supported hospitals have been constantly targeted by airstrikes, doctors and patients killed, while members of Syria Civil Defence, volunteer search and rescue workers, are also being killed as the barrel bombs, cluster bombs, napalm bombs, phosphorus bombs and simple regular bombs continue to rain down.
It’s just everyday reality in Syria. It’s hell. The world turns its back because it’s easier than dealing with the unending atrocity of indiscriminate murder, systematic starvation, wanton bloodshed, a cycle of bloody violence that feeds on death and nurtures extremism to keep the killing alive.
I’m lucky in that I still have my life and my limbs. So I’m putting them to use for people working to save others’ lives and limbs.
I’ve never run a marathon before. It’s not easy but I can’t complain. Today I clocked 1,001 kilometers altogether. Running gives me time to think about how lucky I am. I’ve a good life, the living is easy. The living. In Syria not even the dying is easy…
I cannot fail. As I said, I won’t be winning the thing but if I manage to raise a decent amount for MSF in Syria I’ll have won in a much more meaningful way. Please help me win! All donations great and small (small donations are also great) are very much appreciated.

Many thanks to AP for permission to use the photo above, taken by two-time Pulitzer winner Muhammed Muheisen, of Syrian refugee Zahra Mahmoud, 5, from Deir el-Zour. She’s at an informal tented settlement near the Syrian border on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan. There are another 4.8 million like her and more who cannot escape. If you can call it an escape. I’m running for them all.


  1. Just deposited my 50 bucks, man. Train train train!

  2. Thank you so much Ian! Don't worry, I'm training, training, training! Thanks to your donation I just lodged €600 in MSF's account for Syria :)
    Thank you! And a HUGE thanks to everyone else who has helped too!

  3. Donation made!!
    Thanks again Ciaran, like this everybody wins :)
    All the best for your training and good luck on the day!!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts