An essay on the ‘SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISES’
Written by: Shagufta Fathima Junaid.
Bachelor in English Literature, Stella Maris College, Chennai, India.
What are you doing at this very moment? Are u taking a sip of your daily morning coffee?, Are you having an every day NORMAL conversation with someone?, Are you spending time with your significant other and your family?. Or you might just be reading my essay. There could be a lot of things you CAN be doing now, A lot of important or unimportant things. But just the fact that you have that ‘option’ of choosing what you want to do, or to put things into a more simple context, just the fact that you are having the time and opportunity to read my article, I can say in bold letters that you are ONE AMONG THE VERY FORTUNATE AND ‘PRIVILEGED’ HUMAN BEINGS. Not everyone share such an opportunity like yours, in fact I can name a whole country which has been displaced, striped from its rights, their lives left shattered and their future uncertain.
If you have no idea of this country and its people I am describing, then I feel the sole reason of writing this essay has been accomplished and I feel it is my responsibility as a ‘privileged’ individual living in a stable environment to inform you that your fate and my fate is very different in comparison to the ‘harsh fate or reality’ of 18.43 million people living in Syria, in which I may add that fifty percent of this population in below the age of 30 years and in that fifty percent, 28 percent are children under the age of 18 years. These 18.43 million people are being pushed out or rather fleeing their own country which they once considered their ‘safe haven’ or let me get more intimate, their ‘HOME’. They are being made or have become refugees with bleak and uncertain futures. But first lets educate ourselves to who is actually a ‘Refugee’ with a capital R. A Refugee is defined as ‘an individual who has been forced to leave their country due to political or religious reasons, or due to threat of war or violence’. These refugees later have to flee to various other countries leaving their whole world behind them and live of another person’s charity. It is estimated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), that there are a total of 31 million refugees around the world moving across borders but only 25 percent of there 31 million refugees are being properly taken care of by human rights organisations. All these refugees have faced unimaginable circumstances and are victims of wars which they are not responsible for, they did not want to fight nor were they given an option. Everyone just wants to know whats happening and when will this crisis end but no one asks how it started? Why it started? and most importantly what can be done? But to be fare there are over 125 different countries that currently host refugees, and with this commitment comes the responsibility of ensuring these refugees have access to all basic human needs to live a normal life. ‘A NORMAL LIFE’ would be a utopian world for the Syrian refugees. Since the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011, many have fled the country and settled in the neighbouring states, including Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt. Currently, there are 4 million Syrian refugees registered in the region. By mid-2015, the World Bank’s estimated cost of the Syrian war for the Middle Eastern countries is $35 billion. This load is too heavy to endure, and this is why refugees have been aiming for European countries for a couple of years now. The Syrian problem is growing into the biggest migration crisis in Europe. At the moment, there are over 9 million refugees seeking asylum. But what saddens me the most is the fact that these muslim refugees have to seek another home far away in the western countries when some of the richest countries are their neighbours and have not spread a welcoming hand. These middle eastern countries include Saudi Arabia, UAE ,Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and so on. Where these countries have the money and capacity to make their lands more luxurious for the fortunate, they have no concern for the unfortunate around them, But again I should also defend them by saying that these countries do give huge sums of money every year for the crisis, but what are the affected going to do with such money if they are not offered a home, means to live and any other prospects.
My motive for writing this essay was not to obtain your 2 minutes of pity for these refugees but to tell you that this ‘Refugee crises’ is not just a ‘SYRIAN CRISIS’ or a ‘MUSLIM CRISIS’, or even a ‘MIDDLE EASTERN CRISIS’ but it is a ”WORLD CRISIS” and everyone interested or not should be aware of this horrid situation faced by many. I would also like to justify why I have used the word ‘Privileged’ a lot in my essay, it is mainly to remind all of the readers that YOU ARE PRIVILEGED. Your daily life of mere ‘Normalcy’ is a privilege these refugees can not afford but only dream. Your reality is their fantasy. And that is the sad truth. Another point that no reader would have noticed in my essay is that I only addressed these refugees by the term ”REFUGEE” and never addressed them as ‘people’ or ‘human beings’. That is another sad fact about these ‘HUMAN BEINGS’. When we get bored or angry with something or someone we tend to seek ‘Refuge’ by doing what we like, going somewhere we feel safe or being with someone we love. But want happens to those ‘Human Beings’ who have no where to go, no one to love, have lost everything around them including their identity and have to seek refuge their whole lives, and being a ‘refugee’ is the only identity they have left. Thus I have written ‘Shifted Sands’, so that these human beings while shifting from their sandy deserts will not be forgotten just as a ‘refugee’ but as ‘SOMEBODY’..