So the news has been covering the refugee crisis recently, where millions of refugees from Syria/Middle East are making the dangerous journey to Europe in an attempt to secure a safer habitat. I initially wasn’t going to comment on this on my blog because my thoughts are exactly the same as with the Rohingya crisis that erupted earlier this year, however, I wanted to add some thoughts. You can view my post on the Rohingya refugees here: https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/migrant-crisis-important-message/
The Rohingya refugees fled Burma on the basis of persecution, whereby millions of Rohingyas are kept stateless and forced out of their homes due to not being able to be accepted as citizens, despite having hundreds of years of history there. Burma views them as ethnically Bengalis which, even if they are, is not an acceptable excuse and pathetic considering they have lived in Burma for hundreds of years. Now, onto the Syrian refugees, who are escaping mass civil war and persecution, also left displaced. Both sets of refugees have gotten to the point where they are escaping their home country – where they have had hundreds of years of history – for refuge. That is questionable itself. The persecution/civil war has been ongoing, and despite intervention from worldwide governments to provide aid and drone attacks against terror groups and corrupt governing, which are destroying Syria, the country seems to be getting worse and close to breaking point.
Now enough on the politics of the war, because that isn’t the important thing. The sad thing is that we live on a tough world where people will naturally leave the place which is causing themselves and their families discomfort and wish to heal the wounds by embarking on a journey in hope of a new life. Certain political parties have given off the notion that they are all here to ‘feed of the benefit system’ or ‘take away our culture’ which in my opinion is a little insensitive and if not, insulting considering they are leaving a life of terror. Why would you put them in the same boats as the oppressors they are escaping from? And many of them are indeed equipped with smartphones and nice clothing as well as many who are not. Let’s not forget – they are NOT ALL POOR. There was an ICT software developer who fled recently. Refuge is refuge, and I’m pretty sure all they want at this difficult time is a safe place away from the war which they have coped in for so long. It is not their fault they were forced to flee, and I guess the overwhelming number of refugees flooding in at the same time into Europe is a dark reminder for humanity that although the West flourishes with mass opportunity,advances, multi multiculturalism and generally a higher standard of living, there are parts of the world which do not and instead are facing battles unlike any first world problems. They are facing corruption, persecution and discrimination and lack of human rights – something we take for granted.
It’s clear though how long the civil war has been going on for and it’s a shame that children are having to risk this perilous journey alongisde their families (many of which die on the way) to simply get to Europe. Surrounding wealthy gulf Arab states could save them this journey by opening their doors to more refugees on an emergency placement. The trend amongst refugees is that they naturally look towards where they see compassion, as humans do, and that I think is the beauty of humanity. Germany, for example suddenly offered to take hundreds of thousands in, with German citizens greeting them at the station and showering them with toiletries, food, water and gifts bought tears out of some Syrian refugees. There was a symbol of hope after the hardships they had faced. There was a chance to perhaps live a more fulfilling life. Even if the refuge was for a week, a month or until it was safe to go back, in the moment of solidarity between German citizens and people who have made this journey despite being abused by some fascists and accused of things which have not happened (and most likely will not), it was beautiful.
I’m not being naive; it’s a difficult situation. The UK is an island, and many European states are finding this extremely overhwelming and especially with the sort of system we have, hundreds of millions of people probably wouldn’t work out in the long term, but the best medicine is to keep the spirit of hope and encouragement amongst them going and to have solidarity with the suffering they have had in the war zone. It’s indescribable and I couldn’t possibly comment on how fearful for children and worrying for mothers it must be. Just remember, you don’t have to let every refugee on the planet into a country to support them and show you support their wellbeing. We are all humans and this world belongs to all of us ❤
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