Syria is all over the headlines. Tune in to CNN anytime and you can hear news regarding the civil war raging there, watch documentaries based on the people’s strife, hear interviews on the ground. Same goes for other international TV channels.
It sometimes seems overrated and you do often find yourself thinking: why only focus on Syria, why not talk about the other countries part of the infamous Arab Spring as well? Libya?
Truth is, the attention on Syria is not at all beyond what it should be given. More than 4 million people have been displaced within the country, made homeless in their own homeland. Millions more have fled to neighboring countries not in hope of finding anything: just to escape death.
Normal people like you and I have been turned into refugees. Most of us can’t even point out the location of Damascus on the map yet the term ‘refugee’ brings an immediate image to our mind. We have heard all about them before from the Afghans and then the Iraqis and there are always countries of the African peninsula.
Dirty, rugged, dressed in torn clothes, walking in and out of tents flapping aimlessly in the dusty wind; kids with fists in their mouths with dustier hair and an even more aimless look in their eyes; mothers carrying their young children on the hips and a bad of food in a hand, looking nervously around to ensure no one is watching them particularly for they are unguarded and vulnerable outside their small patch of tent land; men with the legs of their trousers pulled up to unequal heights, soles of shoes dragging in the desert sand, looking to their feet in shame as they return to their new home with another day without work; grandparents with ailments lying coughing and wheezing on folded blankets in a corner of the tent, often the only the family has.
It brings to mind the image of women crying with hands to the head and eyes toward the sky for lost brothers fathers and husbands and sons. No medical care, no food, no water, no clothes, no humanity, no hope. That’s what you think about upon hearing the word ‘refugee’.
But what we forget is this: refugees are not just an idea, something to be talked about in the abstract sense and grouped together no matter which part of the world they belong to. They are people like us, with their stories and hopes and prayers. They are walking, talking beings, not mannequins to be stared at on TV screens till it fancies you to switch the channel to something more interesting, perhaps.
These are real people we are talking about. Children are losing the spark that is supposed to belong to their eyes.The carefree attitude inherent to their nature is being replaced by fear and worries that should have come to them in a much, much older age if at all. They are the ones who bear physical scars on their tiny hands and soft feet, their rosy cheeks gashed with weapons of all kinds and their little fingers chopped off brutally just because they happened to be in crossfire they can’t even comprehend yet. They can’t comprehend it, yes, cannot sit in fancy dining rooms and crowded classrooms to discuss like art, but they are experiencing every single thing in their tiny souls. They are the lost generation of Syria and nobody cares.
You can see the fear in their eyes as an airplane flies by overhead when they should be thinking of playing with toy ones.
They have their whole lives ahead of them yet the fear of a probable attack by the airplane sends them shivering and running for their mothers in whose arms they think they might finally find shelter. They are haunted at night by the crying and wailing they hear by day, and there are airplanes. Always the bombing airplanes and sirens.
Syrians are fleeing into neighboring countries leaving everything behind, often only with clothes on their back. Every night they keep count of not how many family members they have lost but of how many remain. Stepping into neighboring Lebanon or Egypt may save them from death by the hands of the Syrian military but the new life awaiting them is a state of half-death too. Integration is a problem as ever but that is the least of their concerns. They have to pay unthinkable rents for the shabby tents they occupy in refugee camps and the locals are hostile.
The locals try their best to keep up the Arab hospitality characteristic to them but they don’t have an option either: the refugees come willing to work only for bread, stealing jobs and odd work from them who are no better off themselves.
They themselves are waiting for government grants that are promised but never come. People have to fight over morsels of food, all when they have their own land back in Syria.
This is what war does to a person, to a people, to a nation. It snatches away everything from you and brings out a side of you you never could have believed you even possessed. It brings out the animal in a person and makes them do things for family and survival I can’t even talk about here. Just a few days back the Syrian government allowed a period of cannibalism to the people because there just were no rations to go around. Does it get worse than this?
Is this how desensitized we have become?
I’m not an Arab, but I have friends who are. I worry for them, and all the other people out there fighting for their lives.
Please, God, give guidance to heads of states to respect human life. Please let them understand that children are not dolls to be shot down, lost, thrown about and uprooted. Let them understand that they are accountable for all the innocent lives they are taking away every day. It isn’t just Syria, the situation is the same in most third world countries. Let them see that everything is not just about keeping themselves in power. Let them see that refugees are not just refugees but real people. Let them STOP this war! Please Pray with me
Let’s put an end to this war, let’s all live together peacefully in harmony. Let the Peace prevail and Let me say, Enough of this WAR, let’s give Love a Chance.
Adapted from -> http://mythoughtbits.tumblr.com/
Tags: Afghans, African, airplane, Arab Spring, cannibalism, CNN, crying, Damascus, Egypt, hospitality, humanity, Integration, Libya, love, military, morsels, power, rations, Refugees, sirens, Syria, Third World Countries, wailing, war, weapons