The Syrian Refugee Crisis

syrian refugee graphic

“Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”

There is a video circulating social media that has gone viral. It depicts a young Syrian girl throughout the course of a year. At first she is happy and carefree, surrounded by love and security. Then her circumstances begin to change and her response turns into fear, mistrust and eventually apathy. Seeing this visualized wrecked me. I wanted to do something, anything…but what exactly?
How many times do we ignore crises occurring on the other side of the world because it doesn’t affect us? Africa is no stranger to this refugee problem. The following is an excerpt from a former Rwandan refugee’s letter to his fellow countrymen.

Dear Rwandans, Burundians, Sierra Leonean, Liberians, Ivorians, Ethiopians and all other experts or professional refugees, please remember where you were in 1990s and 2000s. Share your tactics to cross borders, those stories you told yourself and others are needed, the names you named yourselves, the fake passports you legalized temporally and (tore) apart in toilets before landing in Europe, US and Canada. Your smart ideas to survive the terrible weather, capitalism, loneliness of your new ‘home’, and all those languages you learned in 24 hours are needed. Volunteer information online anonymous(ly). Blog your experiences, (as I) am sure some Syrians, Iraq, Afghan, Somali, Libyans, Sudanese, Yemeni who are dying at sea and trying to survive need your expert opinion. While you are at it, thank God you made it whatever is your current status.

We can’t do everything, but we all must do something. Perhaps you don’t have the knowledge to share from your own personal experience, but what can you do? The image of the drowned toddler boy on the beach woke the world to this tragedy happening across the ocean, but he wasn’t the first to lose his life in the pursuit of freedom from the ravages of war. So many of these refugees and others are under the age of 18 years old. These children are the future and deserve a chance to succeed.
What Can I Do?

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