Disintegrated clothing, trails of tears, turbulent childhoods- this is an everyday reality for the multiple Syrian refugees witnessing a war fought in front of their humble homes. The solution is escape. According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 3 million Syrians have fled to Syria’s neighbors Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. However, the continent of Europe did not fully respond to this ‘exodus’ until the end of September, and many are beginning to question why.
Europe has closed its eyes far too long to the bloody civil war, and tried to keep the suffering of millions of Syrians outside of its iron doors. However, the forces of political and moral conscience suddenly knocked on these doors seeking for a response- a response to the 3-year old Kurd, whose life was claimed by the plight of this crisis. The image of this toddler reached the trenches of our hearts as it acted as a wake-up call to those who take freedom for granted. Nevertheless, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, displayed her political role during this movement by setting aside a common fear of these migrants and replacing it with compassion and empathy. This was fulfilled when German crowds welcomed the resilient migrants with effervescent cheering and chanting. Hence, Germany, during this moment in history, remains an exemplar of hope and courage.
Although this triumphant moment is heart-warming, it raises serious economic and social problems within Europe. For example, Germans and other European nations will have their culture and traditions violently shaken by these ‘aliens’, and have burdening economic outcomes, as well as sparks of dissonance within the populaces. However, there is heated debate on whether or not Europe should continue to build more barriers, or manage the pressure and risk of handling these migrants with hope for peace in society.The answer comes with a sense of a new perspective towards the migrants and their hosts.
Throughout history we can see that Syrians have “a well -founded fear of persecution”, and to help them is an evident moral duty Europe and the world must fulfill. Although Europe is enveloped by poverty and chaos across its borders, they must acknowledge the need for workers to pay and provide for the retirement of its citizens. The fundamental solution is the influx of migrants. However, to reach this grandiose goal of economic stability in a socialist society, Europeans need to start with the creation of a safe environment for the migrants. This means protected havens, funded UN agencies, and properly functioning education systems- not just roofs in the desert.
Regardless of the blurring social boundaries, the new dimension of morality Europe is witnessing everyday calls for significant changes in the world as a whole. However, this global reality cannot be achieved without adversity. Although many will say it has been more than a month since this crisis broke out, and the refugees are retreating back, we must not forget their profound suffering, their undeniable spirit, and their unconditional sadness leaving home. Along with the pain that is crushing, exquisite, and infinite, the pain causes them to tremble with fear. I deeply hope that when you look at another post of a Syrian refugee on “Humans of New York”, you will have the temerity to understand how it feels to be born in a different way than you are. One individual, European, African, or American can alter or even save a Syrian refugee’s life. Hence, we must acknowledge that human empathy fused with action can change lives in ways you can never imagine.