6 February 2019 — Off Guardian
Steven Sahiounie, Beirut
Image source here
Samara Levy is a British woman who runs a charity called “Samara’s Aid Appeal”. She has a very active website as well as a Facebook page. She is a registered UK Charity, which claims to send supplies and medical units to Syria. She has an extensive network of donor-volunteers across UK, and is networking with many churches of all denominations. However, the claims she makes are seemingly not verifiable, and in direct contradiction with the facts on the ground in Syria.
Samara Levy claims she never uses Turkey as a transit point into Syria:
Samara’s Aid Appeal, December 16, 2018: NO JANUARY AID APPEAL. I’m so sorry to say that we won’t be running an appeal for clothes, shoes, blankets and other aid items in January as we had hoped. This is because of a new restriction that has been put in place in Syria this week, and we cannot guarantee that we will be able enter any containers into the country. It is not linked to the recent news about Bab Al Hawa crossing as we have never used any of the land borders from Turkey.
The international border between Syria and Turkey is officially closed. There is no trade, or transit between the two countries, outside of the free movement of armed fighters, weapons and the various supplies used to support the myriad of armed groups in Syria, all who are actively fighting the Syrian Arab Republic. The only movement of people or things between Syria and Turkey is defined as “international smuggling”.
The frontier with Turkey is still closed into Syrian government-held areas, and open only into territory controlled by rebels.”
Samara Levy posts many photos of herself, and others who are loading aid in UK into a truck to be sent to aid the Syrian people who are victims of the war on terrorism. The same truck, with Samara and others standing during the loading process are on her pages, as well as websites which are supporting Samara’s charity.
In the photo, the right side door is open, and the left side door is closed and you can clearly see in English lettering, the website of the trucking firm, and Aleppo is stated, along with telephone numbers. However, when you investigate the website, www.besirbaran.com , you find it no longer works, but when you investigate the name Besir Baran, you find he has a facebook page which identifies him as “Syrian Turk”, and that he is no longer in Aleppo, having left there in 2012, but now in Mersin, Turkey. This means, Mr. Baran and his truck have not been working inside Aleppo, or legally inside Syria, since prior to 2012. This proves Samara could never have used his trucking firm to legally deliver anything inside Syria.
When you investigate this truck owner, you find he now is networking with a company named MARTUR located in Mersin, Turkey. Using his website, we find his own photo of the exact same back door of the truck Samara Levy uses to transport aid to Syria. The right door is clearly marked Mersin, Turkey and several phone numbers, and the MARTUR name, which corresponds exactly with the website, and the left door is the exact copy of the door which Samara is standing behind in the UK. This same trucking firm is shown in numerous photos of Samara and her volunteers in UK during the loading process. The Mersin, Turkey labeled door markings are never revealed; only the Aleppo, Syria door is visible.
By using a trucking company located in Turkey, Samara Levy is found to have lied when she states she never uses any Turkish ports of entry. The only legal way to ship aid into Syria would be to load a container on a ship in UK, then that ship would sail to Latakia, Syria and off-load the cargo, and after the container was released from the port, it would be placed on a Syrian truck and delivered to any destination inside Syria. Using a Turkish truck and going a land route from UK to Syria means the aid cargo is going to the terrorist groups, or their families, or to civilians who are trapped inside terrorist occupied territory inside Syria, such as Idlib. Another possibility would be the aid is going to Syrian refugees living in Turkey.
While helping poor Syrians who have suffered almost 8 years would seem important, the fact remains that Samara Levy does not claim to be aiding refugees in Turkey: she claims to be inside Syria legally and helping Syrians who live in liberated areas under the control of the Syrian government. Samara Levy is standing with a Truck with Turkish license plates in an article which was highlighting her charity. It is completely impossible for any truck with Turkish license plates to enter Syria.
Besides all the claims that she is sending trucks and containers to Syria, Samara Levy also claims to a vast network of medical centers which she has either sent to Syria, or which she has founded and is supporting in Syria. Samara Levy claims to have opened Al Rahmie Hospital in Deir Ez Zor. Furthermore, she claims this hospital has a security camera which she monitors from the UK, so she can control all aspects of the operation of this hospital.
Samara’s Aid Appeal, July 7, 2018 : “This is the waiting area at our hospital in Syria, Al Rahmie. When it is busy like this, people have to wait outside too. I took this picture from our security camera this morning which enables us to fully monitor our hospital 24/7, even from the UK.”
However, that claim proves false, when we look at the Syrian state media’s own video showing the opening of Al Rahmie Hospital in Deir Ez Zor on April 16, 2018, in which the Mayor and Chief of Police attended, and is described as a charity hospital under the operation of Dr. Skandar Deeb. No mention of Samara Levy, any UK charity, or any foreign donors.
Samara Levy claims she has sent numerous “meditainers” to Syria, which are described as shipping containers which have been converted into a surgical, or exam room. She uses a specific photo of the “meditainer”, labeled as “LEMUEL MOBILE OPERATING ROOM”; however, when you do a google.com search on the photo itself, you find that exact photo belongs to a firm in Indonesia which is in the business of converting shipping containers into various other uses. It would appear that Samara Levy simply borrowed the photo, and claimed it as her own. Queries among the medical community in Syria were met with incredible surprise, as they had never heard of any shipping containers used as medical units in Syria.
We opened Al Hayat hospital on 1st May May 2017. A former maternity and obstetric hospital that had closed because of lack of resources and funding. We reopened it as a hospital providing emergency medical care and retain some of the staff specialising in obstetrics.”
There is a hospital in Aleppo by the name of Al Hayat, and it is a very old hospital, and was totally destroyed by a car bomb in 2012, and has never been rebuilt and is not functioning. This was confirmed by officials in Aleppo, as well as the residents who live in the area today.
A British woman, a westerner, traveling to Syria during the war is not unheard of. Many delegations, conferences and visitors have gone to Syria in search of the truth about the conflict, and offering support to the Syrian people in their defense from an international attack on the Syrian government and the unarmed civilian population which have been raped, maimed, kidnapped, made homeless, and killed all in the name of a revolution supported by US-UK-NATO war machine. It is therefore surprising to find a woman nominated for the “Pride of Britain” who claims to have never helped or aided the armed groups, who have been supported by the UK government, but instead she claims to have only helped those within the areas under the Syrian government control, who are not recognized by the UK government.
Samara Levy claims to have founded many hospitals and medical units across Syria, but she will not name the locations. She uses a great deal of subterfuge in masking all the locations, and leads you to believe this is for the sake of security. If she can’t tell you where the hospital is located, then how can Syrians make use of these free services? If everything is shrouded in a cloak of mystery, there could be something to hide. Furthermore, she never names the various doctors she is working with, even though you find doctors across Syria who are named daily in the media.
Doctors in Syria who are involved in a charity saving lives, and helping the poor to have free medical care, are proud to have their name mentioned. Do the doctors Samara Levy alludes to exist, or are they working in areas supported by the UK government?
Samara Levy and her charity are now under the microscope, facing serious questions, with no reply to communication sent to her as early as January 11, 2018. Today, she was contacted by a person who is personally known to her in the UK, and when faced with these same questions, she refused to offer any facts to defend herself.
The internationally acclaimed humanitarian group known as “The White Helmets” was proven to be a fraud in Syria. After years of investigation and documentation, the UK journalist and activist Vanessa Beeley was able to expose the group as a fraud. Samara Levy made a video in which she appeals for donations, and she clearly includes the White Helmets and she portrays them as medical heroes in Syria.
If Samara Levy and her charity are finally revealed to be lying and misrepresenting their work in Syria, it will be yet another revelation of fraud by a group making money off the suffering of the Syrian people. We can’t forget the haunting photo of the little boy named Omran, the bushy-headed boy who was sitting in the back of an ambulance, with blood on his face. The investigative journalist and activist Eva Bartlett of Canada tracked down the little boy and his father, and interviewed them. Their testimony of the events proved that the child was used by “The White Helmets” as a “prop” in their fraud, which has resulted in humanitarian awards and millions of dollars in donations to them based on fraudulent misrepresentation.