By LAURYN BEST
Since March 5, 2011, all eyes have been on the ongoing Syrian war and its consequential refugee crisis. According to World Vision, 13.5 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aide, 4.8 million have become refugees, and 6.5 million have been displaced from their homes. The current poster boy of the war is Omran, a young boy who has been bloodied and disheveled from an airstrike on his home in Aleppo, Syria. Omran is not the first, and will not be the last, person whose life has been overturned by the war. With the majority of older citizens voting in favor of the Brexit due to the large influx of immigrants, and countries all over Europe slamming the door in the face of refugees, they have few places to turn
Because they are consistently demonized in American media, it seems as though the door for Syrian asylum seekers is closing in America too. After 9/11 the anti-muslim behavior of U.S citizens skyrocketed and with the terrorist attacks on Paris and Brussels, this only has increased. Despite this, the White House has met its target of granting 10,000 refugees the protection they seek (Washington Post). Though this number pales in comparison to the almost 5 million seeking refuge, it’s a start.
I’m aware that people are afraid of what they do not understand, but fear should not be the determining factor in deciding how we treat a faction of people in need. As someone who has a Syrian-American friend, it is admittedly easy for me to see refugees for who they are: people like you and me. But for those who aren’t personally connected, I urge you to think back to the roots of this country. It was founded by those seeking asylum from the religious persecution they faced. Let us remember this and stand in solidarity with the Syrian community.
Top: Omran (cnn.com)
Middle: Syrian Refugee Camp (nbcnews.com)
Bottom: Syrian woman crying as she reaches Greek island (cbc.ca)