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Dr. Amir Ali, a Kurdish physician and philanthropist, stands atop a pickup truck full of food, clothing and toiletries that he and his friends assembled for Syrian Kurdish refugees at a camp near Erbil. With the Kurdistan Regional Government overburdened with trying to care for over 153,000 Syrian refugees and the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations unable or unwilling to assist, efforts by regular Kurdish citizens like Dr. Amir are an important lifeline. (Todd Epp/For The Republic)

TODD EPP: Syria - what desperation looks like

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By Todd Epp

For The Daily Republic

I am one of probably few Americans who have actually been to Syria. When journalists report about gassings and bombings in Damascus' suburbs, they may be places I've visited.

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