Odiase is one of two valedictorians at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee.
A convoy of Red Cross trucks carrying supplies reached Homs Friday– but the Red Cross says they’ve been refused permission to bring aid into the devastated neighborhood of Baba Amr.
The BBC’s Jim Muir told Here & Now‘s Robin Young that there are accusations from activists that the regime is blocking entrance to Baba Amr while they clean up the destruction.
Conditions in the district are dire after a month of heavy bombardment by the Syrian military.
Food, water, medicine, and electricity are in short supply as a winter storm bears down on the area. Hundreds of people have died in the district over the last month and thousands of residents have been forced to flee because of the fighting.
The BBC is featuring video of Homs from Syrian state television. It shows widespread destruction in Syria’s 3rd largest city.
The U.N. says it has received reports of “a particularly grisly set of summary executions” after government troops took control of Homs.
An activist in Homs told Al Jazeera English that government troops had been conducting house to house searches.
Yesterday, rebels with the Free Syrian Army said they were leaving the district in a tactical withdrawal to prevent more civilian casualties. But the seizure of Baba Amr is a blow to the Syrians hoping to overthrow President Bashar Al Assad.