So I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the photos, videos and stories everywhere of the war-torn refugees desperately leaving Syria behind. Families, with small children, so desperate that they will risk the lives of their children just for the ‘hope’ of a better life.
As much as I wanted to close the Internet tab, scroll past the photo on my phone or shut off the TV, I couldn’t. I needed to try and understand and process what would drive a parent to risk the life of their baby !
Aylan Kurdi was a three year old boy, a boy the same age as my middle son and a beautiful, innocent little boy. A boy who washed up on a beach in Turkey yesterday. Aylan, along with his five year old broken and his mother drowned when a boat carrying Syrian refugees capsized.
Aylan’s Father, who is destroyed by grief, should not be burying his sons and wife.
I was heartbroken to see the photos but it made me look and see what I could do to help, so I signed some online petitions, wrote emails to Theresa May and other figures and took an hour out of my day to try and do what I could to help.
What has shocked me the most is how the people of the UK have responded to this story and these images. I am full to the brim with guilt that I have a home, that I don’t need to worry about the day to day safety of myself or my children and that I have my freedom. Instead of feeling the same, I’ve seen people saying they are appalled that the photos are being shown, that this shouldn’t be allowed and that we don’t need to see this… really? Come on people… WAKE UP! We DO need to see this and we do need to understand what drives these people to put their families in danger. It’s too easy to think that this is happening in a far away country, but Turkey is a holiday destination for many Brits and this is not the other side of the world. Open your eyes.
This isn’t a holiday for these people. This IS their life, a life of war. A life so terrifying that they would risk their own lives and that of their family, to reach a country where they will be probably be the victims of verbal abuse and insults. I’ve heard too many people blame the ‘foreigners’ for everything. Local crime, littering, graffiti, poor economy – you name it, ‘foreigners’ have been to blame. ENOUGH!!
A refugee is defined as a person who is outside their home country because they have suffered (or feared) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, or political opinion; because they are a member of a persecuted social category of persons; or because they are fleeing a war.
A migrant is a person who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions.
KNOW the difference. A life is a life, regardless of colour, creed, nationality or religion. Hasn’t there been enough hate in the history of the world already?
When you see the photos, don’t ignore them… their story needs to be heard and we need to hear it. We need to stop burying our head in the sand. Innocent people and children are dying… we need to do what we can. I don’t want to watch the news and see tiny bodies washed up on a beach… I don’t want to see a heartbroken father devastated by the loss of his family. These people are desperate, they wouldn’t risk their lives otherwise.
If you have children, give them an extra hug and kiss tonight. Think about those families who can’t say goodnight tonight and would give anything to give their babies a kiss.