WRITTEN BYAleena Naqvi
Ernest Hemingway said,” Never think that war, no matter how necessary nor how justified, is not a crime.” The truth of what Hemingway said had always been very explicit throughout the history. But as it is said the only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history. The recent migrant crisis or the refugee crisis that the world is facing is the birth of the war that has torn apart countries.
Since the civil war began in Syria in 2011 about 4.1 million people have fled the country. An estimated 7.6 million have been displaced inside their own country. According to these statistics almost half of the population of Syria have either fled the war torn country or have been forced to leave their houses since 2011. These figures are extremely high for any war.
The migrants, more half the total belonging to Syria and others from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and some western African states, have left their homelands in order to have a better life for themselves and their families. 381,000 migrants or refugees have managed to reach Europe this year alone.
The country holding the largest number of refugees, mostly Syrians, is Turkey. Lebanon whose population is just about 4.4 million, has about 1.1 million Syrian refugees. Many of the migrants take dangerous and illegal sea routes to reach Europe in hopes of a better life.
The influx of the migrants has baffled the world making countries unable to cope with the crisis in a better way. Germany has initiated a gesture of welcoming by announcing that it could take over 500,000 asylum seekers.
People who make the dangerous journey to Europe in hopes of a better life and actually make it to the shore are the lucky ones. 2,800 people have perished on their way to Europe this year alone.
The screaming evidence of cruelties of the war and its consequences was portrayed by a picture that went viral. It was the picture of three year old Aylan Kurdi, who with his parents and five year old brother made the dangerous journey in hopes of a better future. The picture of his lifeless body lying on the beach sent a silent scream that breached many hearts. It was indeed “Humanity washed Ashore”
That innocent picture portrayed the story of thousands who have perished into the sea while running from death and destruction. They are the collateral damage of the power brawl that is going on in Syria and other volatile regions. There was also some debate on sharing the picture as it was deemed graphic but not sharing would be like closing our eyes to the tragedy that should have never happened.
Europe has been center of criticism on how they have failed to handle the refugee or migrant crisis but what about the oil rich Arab countries. Countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain have a combined GDP of $2 trillion annually. Imagine what just five percent of the annual GDP could have done for these suffering people. Imagine how many lives could have been saved from being lost at sea if they would have found a safe place in one of these countries but not a single one of these countries, due to political reasons, offered any kind of help to these helpless people.
The world’s political and economic leaders need to think beyond power politics and think about millions of lives that are being destroyed. How many Aylan Kurdis have to die before the players of this power strife realize the price that is being paid for their throne game?
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