Blog 6: Displaced by War
The Syrian refugee crisis has exploded from about 270,000 people a year to today’s tally of more than two million who have fled the country (Onishi, New York Times,2013). The pace of the diaspora has been characterized by the United Nations as “the worst since Rwandan genocide in 1994”; now that is bad! In addition an estimated 4.25 million Syrians have been displaced within their country, bringing the total number forced into flight to more than six million (New York Times).
Scattered by War, the Sarhan family struggles to start anew. This family fled from their hometown, Dara’a in southwestern Syria to Jordan. Three generations of the Sarhan family have been displaced due to war and casualties. Unfortunately for them, a rocket exploded on to their balcony while they were in their home. Two of Ms. Sarhan’s granddaughters were injured, one so much so that she had to be delivered to the hospital. Her leg was decapitated. The other granddaughter was in shock. Sarhan’s eldest son goes on to say, “Our family story is just one of many (Sarhan, 2013).” He stated that there have been many instances that Syrian families have had easier experiences than they have had. This testimony spoke volumes to the level of violence in Syria currently.
According to the article, the Sarhans are among the more than two million people whom Syria’s civil war has displaced throughout the Middle East and even in to Europe (New York Times). As the war has festered, the number of refugees is continuing to rise. With about 4.25 million Syrians exiled, within their homeland, the conflict has relocated more than a quarter of Syria’s population (New York Times). One thing the refugees all have in common is that every family either knows someone or lives with someone who has been affected by the war. One of the Sarhan’s concerns is that they are being marginalized with the other Syrians who also fled. They want to be looked at on an individual basis instead of holistically. It is unfortunate that they are feeling unwelcome already in Jordan.
Additionally, on a side note, the United States should be concerned for our safety too. It has been a known fact that Syria is Iran's arm in the Middle East. Iran has used Syria as a staging ground to train and support militants who have crossed into Iraq to hurt our troops and to train for other terrorist activities. In between taking care of their families, working and trying to keep up with everyday life, many Americans have caught at least a couple stories about Syria. Many probably know that clashes between government forces and protesters who want the country's president to relinquish power have become increasingly bloody over the past several months. Much of that violence has been represented in online videos; I assume that Syrians have posted, suggesting the slaughter of children and families. It's horrible. No one would argue anything else. However, there is violence in many corners of the world. Why should what's happening in Syria be especially important to Americans? It's clear a lot of people think it's not.
Onishi,N. (2013). Scattered by War, Syrians Struggle to Start Over. The New York Times, pp. A1, A10, A11