Hope the toddler’s death has finally shaken our collective conscience, but Arab world’s inaction on Syrian refugee crisis is baffling


Dr Kouser Fatima

The picture of Syrian child drowned on beaches of Turkey will haunt us for many days to come. It is a chilling reminder about our failure to coexist peacefully and protect our children. The Syrian family was fleeing from their homeland because of the war, which does not show any signs of ending in the near future.

The civil war between the Alawite Syrian government and the rebel groups has resulted in the deaths of 3,10,000 civilians until April 2015. The repeated shelling between the two fighting sections have displaced more than 7.6 million Syrians and around 4 million have fled the country.

The continuous silence of the world has empowered the regime which is killing its own citizens mercilessly . The refugees carry untold stories about the war miseries and continuous bombing while the use of chemical weapons has claimed many lives.

But the politics aside, the world now has to concentrate on helping the fleeing Syrians. Let us not forget that these Syrians are forced to flee their homeland only because of the war.

They are fleeing a war zone, running away from a war zone in search of a safe sanctuary. They should not be mistaken with the migrants, who are flocking the developed countries for better employment. Instead, these refugees are running for their lives. They can’t go back to their homes as they have no homes now.

Hundreds of Syrians with their families including small children are ready to face hard conditions, even prepared to venture into the unsafe sea only with hope for a better tomorrow. But sadly most of the bordering countries are not welcoming these refugees.

While these refugees are struggling, the world goes about with its daily affairs. The world leaders are busy analysing the situation but unwilling to take the lead. Blame game continues and the refugees are literally kicked from one shore to the other.

The United Nations should play an active role involving both the European Union and Oil rich Arab world to solve the problems of refugees. Until the war stops or political solution to the conflict is found, some serious steps need to aid the refugees. Opening of Borders by countries like Turkey and European Union and generous donation from the Arab world would be one of the initial steps in rehabilitation of Syrian refugees.

The silence and lack of action by the Arab world is disturbing. Neither are the western nations exempt from the crime of looking the other way while the Syrian regime continue to commit atrocities on its own citizens forcing them to flee their homes.

Surprisingly the civilised world has not learnt from the destruction caused by wars in the past, thereby miserably failing come up with an effective plan on dealing with the victims of war.

Not only did they fail to prevent the war but also faltered in handling the calamities its aftereffects. It is not the first time the world is witnessing such destruction, the social media is flooded with pictures of people fleeing the war-zone but then this picture of the small boy managed to wake up the world from its slumber.

Ironically the child escaped the brutalities of the war only to be drowned in the free world, why?

Only because the free world was busy debating the crisis and the champions of the human rights looked away when the boy was desperately searching for safe haven. But at least the death of the boy has not gone unnoticed with international fraternity finally appearing to recognise the magnitude of the ongoing refugee problem. The baby boy’s death may finally help the other refugees get humanitarian aid.

Only time will tell if we continue to work to solve the existing problems or forget the whole episode in few days? The heartbreaking picture of the Syrian toddler lying on the sea shore will continue to haunt us for our collective failure to coexist peacefully.

NOTE: Views expressed are the author’s own. Janta Ka Reporter does not endorse any of the views, facts, incidents mentioned in this piece.