As Aleppo is being destroyed the UN is tweeting about Syrian food
UN observers in Madaya, 2012 (AFP / Loai Beshara)
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Aleppo is in the midst of catastrophe today, with civilian areas pounded by strikes after Assad’s regime excluded the city from a ceasefire.
But the United Nations' social media team have apparently been distracted from the horror by delicious Syrian food.
The UN’s Arabic Twitter account was criticised today after posting a tweet about Syrian cooking – while failing to mention anything about the bombardment currently unfolding in the country itself.
For those who are in love with Syrian Uzi meal, you must try this recipe which is taken from “Recipe from my country” series #Cooking
The tweet links to an article by the World Food Programme that explains how to make Uzi - a popular Syrian dish.
Twitter did not respond kindly to the focus on Syria’s culinary heritage at a time of “monstrous” violence.
Syrian regime and its allies turned Aleppo and Syria into a human Uzi and you are publishing about cooking meals, your UN should feel shameful for being silent and not helping.
Uzi meal is more important to UN than human lives.
Shall we create a list of Gaza meals for you so you don’t get confused when Israel decides to attack again next time?
Silence over Aleppo appears to be the rule for the UN’s social media channels, not the exception. Other tweets on the Arabic account included coverage of Greek families housing Syrian refugees, information about villagers responding to the earthquake in Nepal, and publicity for an international jazz festival.
On its English language channel the story was the same: featured themes included a competition to design a poster for media freedoms and updates on humanitarian responses in Nepal.
The UN has been criticised for downplaying atrocities in Syria before. In December, during the siege of Madaya, Foreign Policy magazine revealed that the agency had altered its Humanitarian Response Plan after consulting the Syrian government – changing key passages and removing information to paint the regime in a more favourable light.
As violence has continued to unfold in Aleppo, the UN has warned of a “catastrophic situation” and a “monstrous disregard for civilian lives by all sides in the conflict”.
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