Miami - On Wednesday, the image of a drowned Syrian toddler who washed ashore on a Turkish beach has circled the world through social media posts. The heartbreaking image has been titled “humanity washed ashore”.
Miami – On Wednesday, the image of a drowned Syrian toddler who washed ashore on a Turkish beach has circled the world through social media posts. The heartbreaking image has been titled “humanity washed ashore”.
According to The Guardian, the toddler was 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian refugee. His mother and brother are presumed dead, while his father, Abdullah survived. They were onboard boats heading to Greece from Syria.
Syria is considered the “single biggest source of refugees in the world”, according to the UN Refugee Agency, accounting for more than 3 million migrants who have escaped into Turkey and Lebanon. Since conditions at refugee camps are inhumane, many seek a better life by crossing to Europe through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia.
However, the difficulty of crossing international borders, the hostility of military guards at said borders, the overcrowded situation, the lack of facilities, human desperation, as well as violent attacks have claimed the lives of over 2,500 people searching for freedom and a better life.
A catastrophe laden with human calamities is unfolding on the other side of the world, while Western media is more preoccupied in disseminating celebrity scandals, mourning the death of a single lion, or pushing any other story that does not reflect the increasing death toll of these victims.
If you want to read about the desperate situation thousands of migrant refugees, mostly from Syria are facing, do not turn to mainstream media newscasts, because you will instead find hundreds of posts about “Europe’s migrant crisis” as it has been labeled in the media.
To Western media the crisis is the fact that refugees are arriving (those that are able to at least) to their countries and overcrowding their cities. But the real crisis is why these people are risking everything they have to enter European countries in the first place.
It has taken the disturbing image of the Syrian child washed ashore to wake up and cause a worldwide outrage. But even then, the outrage has been mostly through social media and not an answer from the governments that could allegedly help.
According to Britain’s the Independent, “the attitude of Europe’s policymakers and much of the public have continued to harden”. Even UK’s Prime Minister has referred to the refugees as a “swarm”.
Human Rights Emergency Director, Peter Bouckaert posted on his Twitter account why he shared the photo of the drowned child, “Some say the picture is too offensive to share online or print in our newspapers. But what I find offensive is that drowned children are washing up on our shorelines, when more could have been done to prevent their deaths”.
Many have asked what can the US do to help the Syrian crisis. US officials said that “they have to be careful not to jeopardize the country’s security by letting in potentially dangerous people since it is very difficult to verify refugees’ information because of the civil war”.
Sources say “the US goal, and the international community’s goal, is ending the civil war and making it safe for Syrians to go home again”. Some say forceful American action could make a difference and stop the Syrian regime, while others prefer not to get involved.
In the meantime, thousands continue to die, the end of the Syrian war does not look hopeful, migrants are being treated like animals at the borderlines, situations are less than human at the shelters, and Western media would rather focus on other news “less humanly disturbing”….the world goes on.
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