Outrage in Syria
The civil war in Syria started a worldwide outrage, for people across the world were instantly drawn in by the destruction. In the spring of 2011, pro-democracy protesters began to demand Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad to resign from his position. As the protests began to gain popularity and occur more often, Al-Assad began to use violence in order to maintain peace. Soon after that violent rebel groups were created and they began to fight the government for control over land within the country. (Asare, Gritten, Offer, Rodgers). These groups created tension with the government, and the government responded by using merciless violence to resolve crime and maintain order and peace.
In an interview with ABC News reporter Barbara Walters, President Al-Assad said “they are not my forces, they are military forces who belong to the government. I don’t own them. I am president. I don’t own the country, so they are not my forces” (Transcript Interview). Al-Assad was disregarding the fact that his country was in complete chaos. In the same interview, he says “I am afraid that the people won’t support me, Syrian people…I say the majority are in the middle and the majority are also not against me—to be precise” (Transcript Interview). He doesn’t acknowledge that the protestors do not support him, and he once again disregards the protestors by not stating that there are citizens in Syria that do not support him.
As more violence oriented groups, such as the Islamic state, began to protest Syria became an extremely dangerous place. Group leaders began to limit the exports of food and water and other products; they also committed and influenced different war crimes such as murder, torture and kidnapping (Asare, Gritten, Offer, Rodgers).The civil war in Syria has left citizens in constant fear, which has caused them to flee their home country in hopes of starting a new, safer life in a surrounding country. United States and even other surrounding European countries can revise their immigration and foreign aid laws in order to provide the much needed assistance.
The main problem is that millions of Syrians are trying to escape their war torn home, and are doing so in extreme measures. Men, women, and children of all ages are walking hundreds of miles to Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Turkey. Around 2,500 migrants have died at sea, for they use non sturdy and cheaply made boats in order to flee (McDonnell). Refugees have even died from dehydration and malnutrition because they simply didn’t have access to the much needed resources. Syrians are risking their lives by trying to escape the dangers they were witnessing on a daily basis.
The constantly increasing death toll among Syrians has become an immediate worldwide concern. The number of deaths among innocent civilians who remained in Syria has increased to 220,000 (Ahmed, Jones). The total number of refugees that died during an attempt to escape is over 250,000 (Lai, Watkins, Yourish). If more people are dying while escaping, then from staying in Syria, then President Bashar Al-Assad should revise his power and benefit his country. In order to stop harming Syria, Al-Assad needs to start changing his regime, for that distinct change would save lives and also be the humane thing to do. He also needs to be held accountable for all of deaths that have happened in Syria while he rules.
Another problem is that some citizens in countries such as Greece and the United States view refugees as a threat to their countries safety and economy. Refugees are said to be terrorists and dangerous. In an interview with CNN about how Iowa is becoming the home of many migrants, Iowa native Joel Mason, says “It’s not worth taking a chance… It only took 19 of them on 9/11” (Basu). That is a common fear of the host countries population. Americans fear that Syrians are going to take all of the jobs away from them and will be the cause of unemployment and poverty (Smith). With a large portion of America’s population living in poverty, the addition of migrants is believed to increase the number of poverty stricken citizens, both natives and immigrants.
One response to the problem is by providing background checks. The background checks that were designed to help refugees take a long amount of time, and refugees take matters into their own hands in order to access freedom. The average amount of time it takes to process a refugees application can be anywhere from 18 to 24 months (Koran). Since refugees pack very little to travel with while escaping; most do not bring important documentation such as an I.D. card or birth certificate. Not having those sources can increase the processing time by months, or even years.
Many resettlement programs have been put in place, and are in favor of allowing refugees to come to America. These programs provide food, shelter, medical care, and other basic necessities. They also help refugees find local jobs, and help them qualify for social services (Rojas). There are also programs available that provide educational services such as teaching the English language, or providing basic schooling like math and reading. Without the creations of these programs migrant refugees would be stranded and alone in America. Resettlement programs give refugees a higher chance of getting a job, and starting a successful new life in America.
A possible solution to help the Syrian refugees is for America to increase the amount of migrants allowed, and to shorten the length of the background check and the time it takes to get approved. Young children, the elderly, and the ill should be given a waiver and receive immediate entry into America because they need the most assistance. Syrians under the age of 14 or 15 should not receive an intensive and long background check, but a shorter modified version should still be used. It would cut down time, and allow more entry. Placing a restriction on the amount of migrants allowed to enter safer countries is inhumane, for traveling and fleeing would not be occurring if they were safe in their home country.
Another solution would be to end racism and stereotypes of the Middle Eastern population by showing Americans what innocent civilians are enduring in Syria. This can be shown through flyers, presentations, town meetings, and peaceful protests. The most beneficial would be to host a town meeting, and have a local government leader or someone with power and authority attend. A key aspect of making this solution work is to find a speaker that would support the Syrian refugees, and agree that the amount of migrants allowed in America should be increased. Speaking about the death rates and showing a few graphic pictures has the potential to move an individual and make them support the fight to end stereotypes. This meeting can also change prejudices of racism by showing that all humans are the same, and deserve the basic rights to ensure their safety.
The final solution would be to donate to well-known and trusted support groups and organizations such as American Red Cross, UNICEF, or Mercy Corps. These groups take any amount of money, and use it to provide the direct relief that an average person couldn’t. They provide clean water, food, clothing, medical care, and many other much needed items. Other groups that aren’t as common, but can still be donated to are the Syrian American Medical Society, Sunrise USA, and Islamic Relief USA. Although they aren’t as big and widely renowned, they still provide to Syrians in America and still in Syria or in Europe.
Innocent Syrian refugees have experienced both mental and physical strain. Not all Syrians who flee are guaranteed acceptance into America or other European countries. Many end up staying in the overpopulated refugee camps for many months and even up to a year, when they were only meant to be a temporary resettlement. President Al-Assad needs to take advantage of his power, and end the 4 year war that has killed off majority of Syria’s population. With more and more citizens fleeing every day, the remainder of people in Syria will soon be just the government, activists and protestors. If peace was contained and the safety of the citizens was a priority, the Syrian population would stop taking so many risks, and remain in Syria.
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