Staff news

Beacons send signal of hope to Aleppo

A trail of beacons will be lit along both sides of the Firth of Forth in a gesture of hope and solidarity with the besieged residents of Aleppo in Syria.

#alightforaleppo campaign

The displays of light will be sparked to show support and raise funds for people in the city, which has been ravaged by civil war.

Communities along the coast will light torches at 5pm on Sunday November 20. Their message will be spread around the world by social media, using the hashtag #alightforaleppo.

Charity event

The University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy has organised the scheme, which aims to raise funds for the charities Oxfam and Medicins Sans Frontieres, who are working in the region.

Members of the public are invited to attend an event, to organise an event of their own, or to light a candle in their home to show support. Details of all events taking place and more information on the campaign can be found at

Groups and individuals from across Scotland and as far afield as Greece, Taiwan, Japan and Chile have registered to join the initiative to spread light. ECA student India Pearce contributed artwork for the campaign materials.

Every day, the people of Aleppo have less food and fewer medical supplies, and aid is not getting through. We want them to know that they are not forgotten – the people of the world are watching and are upholding their humanity. We are helpless to deliver food, medicine or peace, but we will light beacons to send a message of solidarity and hope to stem despair and renew resolve.
Rev Dr Harriet Harris Chaplain of the University of Edinburgh
Light represents a fundamental resource that is gifted to us in each new day and belongs to each of us to live by. It speaks of our commitment to honour the gift of life and to stand with those whose lives are in constant danger. Through this simple action, we commit to daily remembrance, to speaking out against injustice and terror and to giving to those who can act on behalf of the people of Aleppo so that their light, though dim, is not extinguished.
Dr Liz Grant Assistant Principal of the University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Academy