The people of Aleppo, Syria, are living in a nightmare right now.

Innocent men, women, and children have been caught in the cross fire between the Syrian army, rebels refusing to back down from a tyrant president, and reckless Russian drone strikes. In the eastern part of the city — once a thriving, metropolis home to millions — 50,000 civilians are bunkered up amongst the ruins, living at-risk of being killed in a moment's notice.

On the ground accounts coming out of Aleppo are horrifying. The city has been grappling with unrelenting violence for months. But the UN reports that, in just the past few days, Russian and Syrian forces — which have gained control of nearly all of the city — have slaughtered dozens of civilians. Messages of despair from inside the city walls have gone viral around the world, even as their authors remain helplessly trapped in a besieged city with "nowhere safe to run." Despite a cease-fire on Dec. 13, 2016, ongoing violence reportedly continued the following day.

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Three little dots.

Today I prayed for three little dots. Today I begged for three little dots. Today my future depended on three little dots.

Today, while at lunch with coworkers celebrating a birthday, I got a text from my brother: "Something's happening at the airport. I love you guys."

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For the first time ever, Turkey hosted a public Hanukkah celebration.

State officials were among those who attended the first public menorah lighting in the republic's history.

It began, like all great things do, with a Twitter poll.

Ivo Molinas, chief editor of Shalom newspaper in Turkey, asked his 3,200 followers if they would like to see a Hanukkah candle lighting take place in a public square in Istanbul.

Over 3,700 people responded, 40% of whom said that would be a pretty good idea. While not a resounding "yes," it was enough.

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