His name was Aylan Kurdi. Do you remember him? His name is Omran Daqneesh. Will you remember him tomorrow? All of Syria’s children have names and we should never forget them. But we will. Of course we will.
Sure we were all rightfully shocked and saddened by what has happened to both of these little boys. Social media was again abuzz as photos of Omran dazed and bloodied spread around the world. “How could this happen again?” we all yell from the comfort of our homes. News anchors were crying on the television from the safety of their newsroom. People were tearing up on the radio at the thought of poor Omran and his family. How could this happen again? Again? Seriously? Don’t tell me you didn’t know. This has been ongoing since 2011. Omran and millions of others are being bombed every day. I know real life is distracting and there is a lot of other juicy news stories to cover but please don’t be so shocked by what has happened to Omran. He is just one of millions of people who have been displaced, injured or killed in this awful conflict. Tomorrow there will be another little boy just like Omran but perhaps he won’t be as newsworthy.
Today Omran is safe but what exactly is safe in a war zone? Thankfully the five year old was reunited with his mother, father and three siblings but eight other people were not so lucky and perished in the air strike that destroyed his home and his life. Will his family stay in Aleppo or will they, like millions of others, attempt to leave Syria in the hope of a better life? And what life would they have outside of Syria?
Borders are closing to them. Options are limited. There is so much anger and hatred. Today there are tears for Omran but tomorrow there will again be calls to close borders and to “send them back where they came from”. Tell me where the feck are they going to go back to? Omran no longer has a home. Aylan’s family made the decision to leave in the hope of a better life. Aleppo is in ruin, hell most of Syria is under siege. What hope do these people have?
The Syrian civil war began over 5 years ago and thanks to internal fighting, the constantly shifting alliances between the Assad government, rebels and Islamic extremists and the ever flourishing ‘war economy’ over 13.5 million Syrians have been displaced either internally or are refugees outside of Syria. Turkey is the largest host country with 2.7 million Syrian refugees, Mersin has over 300,000 refugees. What if Turkey decided to shut its borders or to turn these people away? How many more deaths must there be?
Yes we should all be shocked and saddened at the photos of Aylan Kurdi and Omran Daqneesh. We should be embarrassed at the world and at each other that this is humanitarian disaster is still happening in 2016. Omran’s life will never be the same. His family’s lives (who are now in hiding in fear of Government backlash) will never be the same. And for those of you who think they are better off staying in Syria and that the borders should be closed? Have a good look in the fecking mirror you asshole. You should be ashamed of yourself!
Photo credit: Reuters
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