To refer to Syria as a war-torn country is a bit of an understatement.
Rushing to aid the country was not exactly a priority for many world leaders when the conflict first came to their attention. However, now that the crisis has boiled over to the point where many Syrians are dying in an attempt to flee this hostile environment, it’s time we open our eyes to the situation.
Dissecting the catalyst of the war is not that simple, and a plausible solution to the refugee problem is even more difficult.
Despite the complexity of the situation, leave it to Twitter users to think they have it all figured out, and with dogmatic advice to boot! I saw a post that read:
“It’s so sad to see those able bodied adult men running away from Syria & becoming refugees, fight for your people against I.S. you p——.”
I suppose it is that simple now. Forget the quarter of a million lives lost. Forget the fact that structures from schools to centuries old historic sites have been ruined. Forget the fact that some families actually want to stick together and not leave wives as widows or children without parents.
I guess after being spoiled by a country that hasn’t seen a major war on its own soil since the American Civil War, it is easy to talk so violently. Maybe if the person who made the statement was put in that situation, he would fight. Fantastic, a noble fight aiming to defend the homeland, right? Don’t mind the fact that it is almost a suicide mission and you may never see your family again.
The image of a bloody defense of the homeland just gets some people so riled up. Sometimes, I feel like people thousands of miles away from a conflict find the concept of war so romantic. Maybe someone will tell them that in real life, the choice between fighting or fleeing a crumbling country can be a life-altering, even deadly, decision.
Since civil war broke out in Syria, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 9 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes. Two-thirds of the displaced citizens are still within Syria, displaced internally. While structures and residences alike are being destroyed, an additional 3 million individuals have fled to neighboring countries. Some Syrians are even going further northwest to European Union member nations.
Their migration has been met with varying results. Some nations, such as Germany, have been accepting refugees with open arms for months. On Sept. 14 the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Germany had accepted 50,000 displaced Syrians within only a week. The same CBC report estimates a total of 800,000 have immigrated to Germany.
Many countries in Europe are split on the issue, divided between whether they should take in refugees or if they have the resources to provide for the displaced. Meanwhile, countries in the Middle East and other distant countries, like our own, deliberate and decide if it’s feasible to let Syrians into their borders.
This is a tough decision to be put in the hands of a country’s leader. If a small country with few resources chose not to accept refugees, it’s hard to hold it against them. We can only hope that powerful nations can lend a helping hand to improve the millions of lives that have been threatened and turned upside down.
We, however, are not world leaders. We are just people living in one of the safest countries in the world. It is ludicrous for us to get on a soapbox and tell others not to try to live better lives, especially if we are completely removed from the source and the only information we get is fed to us through the news. Not only will you sound heartless, but you’ll also sound pretty damn stupid.