Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#BlogActionDay : Refugees in crisis.

Sometimes in this cruel word, people out there can make a difference in somebody's
Iife or even an entire nation's lives. That is the purpose of this article. I am trying to be one of those people, and if it weren't for them I wouldn't have came back to blogging. Today is Blog Action Day, initiated by Amnesty International, uniting bloggers of the world to post about the same topic in the hopes of sparking a global discussion, and the theme is Human Rights.

As most of you have noticed, we are having a global crisis concerning human rights; expulsions, refugees, chemical weapons, torture in all means possible. And in most of these cases we didn't get the chance of doing anything about it. War crimes and unlawful killings in Sri Lanka, expulsions of Roma's in Europe and making them go through hell. But on the other hand, we really started changing the course of humanity, like with Herman Wallace's case, the man that was unjustly put of solitary confinement for 41 years and who was, thanks to a lot of you, released but only had 3 days of freedom, for he died from liver cancer. Another breakthrough in human rights this year was the Arms treaty that would regulate the selling and buying of arms worldwide. Being a member in Amnesty has given my life a meaning, being part of those achievements gave me self satisfaction. But there is one special topic we couldn't do much about and is affecting our everyday lives, specially in Lebanon; Syrian crisis.

For more than 2 years now, refugees seeking protection have been flooding to Lebanon through the open borders, and their number is increasing in a worrying way. We in Lebanon see them everywhere; streets, schools, camps, hospitals. Though a lot of people are starting to become bothered by their presence, we cannot ignore the fact that they are like brothers to us, people who lived just on the other side of our borders, people who have welcomed us on their land during the July 2006 war, people who have helped us escape through their airports when ours was bombed. These kids and elderly you see on the side of the streets begging, or selling things have had their families killed, houses destroyed, relatives tortured, jobs ruined by this crazy war. Some people do a lot to help them, but that is not enough. Lebanon was the only country to host ALL Syrians without looking at their backgrounds and rejecting them. And that's what is ruining our country as well; our politicians are encouraging violence there, some of the refugees with evil minds sabotage our lives (the number of rapes and assaults in our streets is dangerously in rise). All that because other Arab countries didn't bother opening their doors for them.

I can clearly state that except for Lebanon and Jordan (who eventually closed their doors for these refugees) no Arab countries have hosted refugees and went to the extreme by deporting them such as Egypt. What is this Arab union you long talked to us about? This Arab league who did nothing but condemn the killings and the chemical attacks there. Why won't Saudi, Emirates, Egypt and others help Lebanon with providing protection for these fellow Arabs who have been suffering the consequences of the chaos going on on their land? The countries I have listed are way richer and way more stable economically and politically than Lebanon who is in debt and who can't get itself out of his own interior problems. Why do we as Lebanese have to be the only ones with feelings of Arab compassion and fellowship? The people of Syria need help more than ever and I don't think we should be the only ones to get them out of this. Gulf countries are stronger, larger geographically and more organized than us.

Let this article be an open letter to everyone out there who wants to help, let us urge or at least try to raise the awareness of Arab countries about the crucial role they can play in this human rights crisis. As Ghandi once said "Be the change you want to see in the world". Try to be part of the solution you want the Syrian people to witness.