Photo Courtesy of downtrend.com
By Armand Manoukian
March 15, 2011. Following the trend of political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, Syria threw its hat into the Arab Spring. Syrians began protesting Bashar al-Assad’s corrupt government. Unlike other countries who experienced the Arab Spring, al-Assad’s regime didn’t back down without a fight. He responded with armed retaliation, bombing his own cities and leaving them in ruins. The political unrest that became a civil war in Syria began four and a half years ago. I was in the 6th grade.
Following the intervention of the United States and several different radical Islamic groups, such as ISIS, the unrest in Syria has created a new problem. The death toll has risen to 220,000, and once great cities like Homs, Aleppo, and Damascus have reached unlivable conditions. So where do those still alive go?
Since 2014, the UN confirms 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced. 3 million Syrians have been divided between Lebanon (1.14 million), Jordan (608,000), and Turkey (815,000). Other Middle Eastern countries haven’t been as welcoming, leaving Syrians to flock to Europe.
Sweden has been welcoming, loosening their immigration laws and allowing in over 11,000 refugees in the last seven weeks. Men like Abdul Basit travelled for 40 days to Denmark, but refused to stay there, believing Sweden was a better option of them, as Danish law forbids refugees bringing over their relatives for up to one year.
England has released plans allowing in 20,000 refugees over the course of 5 years, which isn’t an astronomical amount, but commendable nonetheless.
A standout country in this situation has been Germany. They have pledged to take in 30,000 refugees on humanitarian grounds, meaning that they will not force those refugees to get work permits. This total is greater than the quotas of Australia, the rest of Europe, and Canada combined. German soccer club Bayern Munich has donated $1.1 million to the cause, established centers for education and shelter for the refugees, and one of their star players Mario Gotze even got “Refugees Welcome” etched into the side of his soccer boots. Bayern Munich’s generous donation summarizes Germany’s treatment of the situation.
Since Germany’s involvement, John Kerry has upped the United States’ numbers, promising that the United States will accept 85,000 refugees in 2016 and up to 100,000 in 2017, which are truly staggering numbers.
The help these Syrians are receiving is astonishing, and provides some sort of humanitarian unity, but that doesn’t help Syria rebuild its cities, or its society. Hopefully, the world can get to that soon.
Information for this story was obtained from cnn.com
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