Would the Alyan Kurd’s death change anything for Syrian Refugees?
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2015-09-06 14:19:34

Would the Alyan Kurd’s death change anything for Syrian Refugees?

Syr

The gut-wrenching photographs of the three-year-old Alyan Kurdi’s body being carried from the beach by a Turkish police officer has become the symbol of Europe’s failure to confront and manage the refugee crisis unfolding on its back door. Not since the shadows of World War II has there been such an enormous movement of people into Europe.While experts point to the fact that the majority of refugees prefer to remain within their country with a view to returning when the calamities end, this is no longer an option for Syrians. Syria offers no hope for its citizens. The situation on the ground has reached the stage of total war. For Syrians, the choices are stark. Stay and continue to become cannon fodder for Assad’s regime—not to mention facing the prospect of being horribly murdered on video by Islamic State thugs—or flee.

The family of Alyan had been denied asylum status by the Canadian government, and were desperate to flee to safety. When the boat capsized, Aylan along with his brother and mother were swept away by the water and lost their lives. The family had left Syria in 2012 and had been attempting to settle in a new destination. While the story of Aylan has captured international attention, it has also highlighted the terrible and terrifying stories of hundreds of thousands who attempt to flee unliveable conditions in their home countries. In the first five months of 2015, the Turkish coastguard has rescued over 42,000 people while 2,160 people have been rescued only in the last one week. This is the story of only one of the over twenty countries who share a coastline with the Mediterranean Sea. The horror is not in the loss Aylan’s life but how it represents the thousands of children who have perished in conflict zones and in the waters of the Mediterranean in the last few years. What is even more horrific is not the deaths themselves, but how the global community is fully complicit in the conditions that have created such desperation. Most of the rich Arab states that are fuelling the conflicts in Yemen, Iraq and Syria have refused to accept a single refugee. A similar level of criminality can be seen in the major European powers which have let in only a mere trickle of refugees from these global conflicts. The destabilisation of the Middle East and Africa is owed to western meddling in their national politics at the turn of the century. After their violent interventions, now European countries are seeing a rise of anti-immigrant politics. British Prime Minister David Cameron’s insensitivity could be tangibly seen a few days ago when he used the term ‘swarms’ for refugees. Hidden behind the camouflage of the global refugee crisis are the real pictures of horror that have come ashore with the heart-rending image of Aylan’s body. According to the UNHCR, the number of people who have attempted to cross the Mediterranean has exceeded 300,000 this year alone. The global community must recognise that no one wants to leave their homes; that the risks these people are taking can only mean the lives they are leading are worse than the possibility of death in the water. So come the many questions for us and the states we live under. Will the image of Aylan produce more than just gasps and online outrage? Will it change anything in a world that is increasingly hostile to migrants? Will the Arab world, Europe and North America open up their borders to ease this humanitarian crisis?

pk.shafaqna.com

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Tags:   Syria ، Arab world ، UNHCR ، Turkey ، Europe ، Alyan Kurd ، World War II ،
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