WESTMONT — Jim Kubik is a man of many roles.
The Westmont resident is an artist who specializes in tile and ceramic glass art, a-stay-at-home father of two, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq in the first Gulf War and most recently, an activist giving a voice for victims of the two-year war in Syria.
Kubik is now on a mission to help spread the word to as many people as possible, locally and globally, about the horrors that have gone on in Syria. He believes anyone can make a difference.
"Before getting involved in this, I really knew very little about Syria," he said. "I had served in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, and had some knowledge of the Middle East, but it was hearing the stories of the atrocities the people in Syria were going through that made me step up and do something."
About a year ago, Kubik began connecting with people through social media networks and learned about the "Arab Spring" uprising of the past three years – people in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have risen up to demand freedom after years of oppression.
Much of what he has heard has been from Syrians themselves, he said.
"The stories you here from these people, the terrible things they have experienced – I want people to know what I feel is the truth of what is going on over there," he said. "This is why I want to do what I can to help these people."
Kubik has participated in a number of events and activities, such as attending and speaking out at protests against the Syrian government and various fundraisers for Syrian children.
He is also active on Radio Free Syria, an Internet radio network that broadcasts all over the world where Syrian people share their stories of the war.
Another part of Kubik's efforts is to bring awareness to the war, which he said most Americans are unaware of.
Several organizations aiding the Syrian people have been set up. Kubik recommended international organizations such as the The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and local organizations the Karam Foundation of Chicago and the Syrian American Council of Chicago.
"There were over 6,000 people killed in the war in March alone, and over 90,000 have died so far," he said. "It is turning into a huge humanitarian issue now, and something needs to be done. I believe I am making a difference by not just sitting here ignoring it."
Anyone looking to get more information on ways to donate to help the people of Syria, or to learn more about Kubik's cause, can contact him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jim.kubik.9.