In Short

The Civil March for Aleppo started on December 26th 2016 in Berlin-Tempelhof. After crossing 10 countries and walking 3,800km, the march reached after 232 days on August 14th 2017 the border to Syria in Lebanon. With 3,500 participants from 62 countries, we increased awareness for the suffering of the civilians in Syria and brought together locals with refugees along the route. In July 2018, the nomination of the Civil March for the Nobel peace prize became public.

Questions from the time of marching.

Why do you want to do this?

Syria is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. We cannot watch it unfolding much longer. We want to transform the feeling of helplessness into action. We want to bring the attention of the whole world to the fact that civilians are dying. We don’t want to get into politics – we only want the end of bombing against civilians in Aleppo and other towns in Syria and open humanitarian corridors so that help can get to the people in need.

Why Aleppo?

Aleppo has become Syria’s fiercest battleground. Bombs are dropping and the siege cut off the citizens of Aleppo from receiving food, sufficient medical assistance or any other form of help. Aleppo is the symbol of the biggest humanitarian crisis we are facing.

Why should I join?

Join us if you feel outraged at killing the innocent ones.
Join us if you can’t stand doing nothing anymore.
Join us if you believe in the power of our voice. And if you don’t believe but you are willing to test your disbelief – join us, too.
Join us if you remember the power of peaceful protests that changed the reality against all odds (remember Gandhi? Remember Martin Luther King marches?)
Join us if you think that the end of bombing against civilians and humanitarian corridors are absolute must and need to be administered right now.
After all, it’s like voting. Every vote counts. Every marcher counts.
Here you can join our facebook event »

What happens when we get to Syria?

The plan is the UN and all other institutions or entities that can stop the massacre of Syrian civilians hear us before we stand on the border. We do not want any additional suffering or victims.

The plan is the UN and all other institutions or entities that can stop the massacre of Syrian civilians hear us before we stand on the border. We do not want any additional suffering or victims.
It is not about us knowing the solutions. It is about involving people to create these solutions.
The final walk between Turkish-Syrian border and Aleppo is a very small part of the march. Every distance matters, to show how many of us there is, to support the refugees we meet along the way, to show that we care about what is happening in Syria. Entering Syria is a destination, but it’s not a goal – the whole journey and support is as important.

Who’s organizing the march?

We are the people who are ready to deny powerlessness.
We want to go and help people like us, who just were not lucky enough to be born in Berlin, London or Paris. We will not tolerate the siege of Aleppo anymore. Civilians for civilians, we will walk, hand in hand, from Berlin, through the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey, to Aleppo. We are just random, average people. We don’t represent any specific political parties or organizations.

This action was started by Anna Alboth, journalist, author of the travel blog The Family Without Borders. The team organizing the march has grown in a few days into dozens of people from different countries.

Are you affiliated with any political movements or NGOs? Does this march have any political or ideological affiliations?

The only affiliation of this march is peace. And hope for Aleppo and other Syrian cities and villages. We need the end of bombing and humanitarian corridor. The Syrian war is complex and complicated. The justice needs to be brought to the people of Syria but we should let the courts and tribunals decide on who is guilty of which crimes. What is important right now is to stop the massacre and bombings of innocent people and crucial infrastructure like hospitals.

What is our goal?

We want to make us all act in all possible ways, by available means, talents, individual determination and concrete decisions, to stop killing civilians in Aleppo and equally so in other places in Syria. Our goal is to loudly say “no” to the war, “no” to the atrocities and “no” to the deaths, and to stand together with our Syrian friends.

  • We want to stand up to our politicians and show them that we had enough of their inaction and we want an immediate decision on how to stop what is happening.
  • We stand up for the end of bombing against civilians in Syria.
  • We demand the humanitarian corridor.
  • We want to demonstrate our solidarity about Syrians’ situation and let them know that we care.
  • We want to draw people’s attention to what is happening in Syria. We want conversations, interests, comments, instead of scrolling down the Facebook feed.

How long will the march take?

It might take 3,5 months to reach Syrian borders. We do not expect everyone to walk the whole way. We think of this as a relay march of solidarity.

How far do you want to go?

The goal of the march is to reach Aleppo. We will try to get as far as we can, however, if this is not possible due to legal, logistic or safety reasons, we will find another way to send our message to Aleppo from the Turkish-Syrian border.

I want to go. What do I have to pack? How can I prepare?

Here we created a list of things to take for the march. That will hopefully answer all your questions.

Where shall we sleep?

We will try to find camping grounds or hostels on the way and inform you about them.
We are contacting organizations to arrange private hosts, or gyms, but in extreme case you have to be able to sleep with your equipment “wild”. So remember that in the end sleeping has to be organized by every marcher independently.

Note: Up until now (01.02.2017), we’ve managed to secure indoors accommodation for every night since we left Berlin. Even if we end up sleeping outdoors, we have a big tent with heating, so there’s no need for you to bring or sleep in your individual tent.

Also, we’re accompanied by two cars, so we can transport your backpack throughout the day (no need to carry it while marching), and also offer you the possibility of catching a ride in case you’re tired/injured/sick/in need of rest.

What about food?

We cannot provide food for you. We cannot organize catering. But we will point out shopping facilities on the way. Please be aware that you need to be responsible and prepare food for yourself. We are working on facilities to provide you with hot water on the way.

Is the march family-friendly?

Within the European Union the march should not be a risk for children in general, but please decide carefully if your children are capable of such a march in winter condition. Please remember it is your responsibility as a parent/guardian to take care of your child/children.
Please also be aware of the law in your country of origin and the countries you are are marching in, when it comes to responsibilities of the caretakers towards children.
It is worth mentioning, that most of the organizers decided not to take their children with them.

Can people with disabilities join?

Anyone can join the march. However, please bear in mind the potential challenges arising from the fact that it is a march, which takes place in mostly inaccessible environment. You have to consider how such circumstances might affect you and your well-being. When it comes to practicalities, for example: there are very few (and sometimes none) accessible toilets on the way. Also, the marching routes will not always be even and the temperatures will at some point drop to minus degrees…etc. Please take all the possible obstacles under consideration and decide for yourself. Please understand that you alone can know the affect of your disability. If it turns out that you will not be able to join us physically we would be most happy if you could support the march online.

Can I join for a part of the journey? How?

Yes, you can. You can join us for a few hours, a day, a few days or weeks. Please check our website for updates on our current location and the tab “route” for more information regarding dates and times. We will keep adding more details regularly.

How many km are we going to do in one day?

Our average will be around 20 km a day, but depending on weather and terrain conditions it may vary between 15 and 25 km a day.

Will the way to Aleppo be safe?

We are working with respective authorities to make the march safe for all the participants. Generally, within the EU, the march is not considered to endanger safety in any way. In regards to Turkey and Syria, we will be cooperating with local authorities to ensure the safest passage possible. We will also have medical coordinators walking with us to take care of urgent medical issues along the way.

I can’t join the march to Aleppo. But what can I do to help?

We would love you to march with us, but we understand it is not always possible. You can help in many other ways. First, contribute to our crowdfunding campaign and help us pay for fuel, medicine and equipment needed for the march.

Second, spread the news about the march. The more people know about the march, the better. Please use #CivilMarchForAleppo hashtag!

Third, help us on the ground by contacting a local school in your city to let the marchers stay overnight, hosting some of the marchers at home, or supporting them along the way with a cup of warm tea.


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