Everyday in Syria is like 9/11 all over again... every single day!! This is known to be the worst refugee crisis since WW1. You have to understand that no one puts their children in water unless it’s safer than land! When the oceans and sea is safer than the hard earth that is when you know there really is something wrong.
Imagine having your freedom, your job, your friends, your possessions most likely even your family...everything you ever loved and owned taken from you, just like that. And you were forced to flee, to flee the country you once called home to make a new life a, new beginning in a country so unknown and yet having to find out you’re not accepted. What happened to humanity?
These people need help...these people need OUR help. We need to accept more refugees. We are all one nation and together we can make this right for everybody.
The population of Syria is 22.85 million people and around 4 million people left Syria since the beginning of this conflict but today a further 8 million people have had to leave Syria and 50% of them been children. Germany says they can take up to 500,000 refugees a year but why were 400 of them forced to convert to another religion just to be accepted?!
I’m sure you've heard of Aylan Kurdi, the boy in the red shirt who was washed up on the beach of Turkey. The most heart breaking thing I have ever seen and heard in my life other than Aylan’s picture was what Aylan’s dad said after he lost his wife and two children while trying to save a whole lot of other people from drowning by steering the ship because the captain jumped out. This is what he said when he found out about his child, "I jumped into the water looking for my wife...my children but I didn’t see them, all I saw was water." Barely holding back tears when he was asked what he was gonna do now he replied, "Aylan’s last words were when he was on the phone with his grandpa just before he was gonna aboard the crowded ship he said, ‘Can’t we just take your truck instead, Grandpa? I don’t want to go into the water. I’m scared.’” Aylan’s dad then said, “I have lost everything... there is nothing for me to go back to. All I want to do now is mourn over my family’s graves until my death comes."
Now all that remains of his family are memories. He is forever traumatized saying that whenever he touches water or sees oceans and beaches he is reminded of the real life nightmare he went through. I could never in a million years say that I can relate to what Aylan’s dad and his whole family went through, but I can definitely say that we are both humans and refugees.
When I was living in Iraq, we faced a lot of difficulties with similar experiences as the Syrians. We were forced to live in camps in the middle of the hot desert with dangerous conditions, but finally we were brought here as refugees, I’ve been living in New Zealand for ten years and I am more than grateful to be in such a beautiful and peaceful country.
Nothing could compare to what these Syrians are going through. There are children out there homeless and looking for pieces of breadcrumbs in the dirt to stay alive. There are so many people out there losing loved ones and having to carry on in order to survive. There are dignified men holding their children and begging for food to prevent their children from dying of starvation. What these Syrians are going through is inhumane.
I pray for the day when the children of Syria will wake up to the sound of birds chirping and not bombs. I pray for the day when the people of Syria can live in peace and harmony as it once was but most of all, I pray that we as a nation can stand against this and make things right for the Syrians. Aylan Kurdi, you will always be in our hearts and a brave reminder.
I will never forget. I'll never forget the moment when I saw the photo of Aylan, the three-year-old boy who was washed ashore after his tragic drowning.
I'll never forget thinking to myself this is not real. because we are made from flesh, bones, a brain, over 700 trillion blood cells and a heart which makes us human beings. It is that heart that makes us human. It is that heart that makes us different from all the other creatures. It is that heart that loves and cares for each other. Or so I thought.
As a 15 year old, I guess I was expecting more from humanity. If we truly cared and loved each other this wouldn't have happened. Aylan and his family would be safe because, in the end, we killed Alan. I mean look at it. Not even the fish, the sharks or any of the other creatures in the ocean had the heart to kill him, but humans, we did! We have made our own world so dangerous that, for Aylan's family, water was safer then land.
I'll never forget the sadness in his father’s eyes when he was explaining what had happened to his children and his wife right in front of his eyes.
I'll never forget the first time I saw Alan. For a moment, I thought he was my cousin. They are the same age and my uncle's family are facing the same tragic situation as Alan's family.
Alan was not a migrant. He was not a refugee. He was a little boy. A 3 year old wanting to play safely, away from violence and war!
I once believed that we were better: stronger and smarter, because we were on top of the food chain and nothing could beat us. But how did we use that power? We only cared about ourselves. We only cared about how much was in our pockets. Because we all know, the more you have in your pocket the more important you are. We forgot about those with empty pockets and empty stomachs. We forgot about Aylan and his family. Where is Aylan now? Where did our forgetfulness leave him?
Aotearoa is 268,021 km². Our population is 4.5 million. Our land is beautiful. When I was young, my family taught me the value of sharing, of working in a community, of being part of something bigger than myself. There is so much we can share. We don't want to be the kid that doesn't share.
Closing our doors, our borders and ourselves from those seeking help is not what our country stands for! It is not what I was taught!
I'm a refugee. Being here today is a great honour to me and I'm willing to do everything to save one life because that one person could be the person that saves the world!
I'm now a New Zealand citizen and have been for a couple of years. New Zealand has given me a future to look forward to and I know it can for hundreds more! It is simple: people are dying and we can save them.
New Zealand, I know we can save hundred of lives and we need to act together as human beings. This is not a one person issue. It is what we Kiwis stand for. It is right.
Aylan and all the others that have died are gone and, as much as we wish we could, we can't bring them back. But let's make Aylan the last. Let's put a stop to hatred and stand up.
What sets us apart from other creatures is that we love and care for each other. It is that which makes us human. If we ignore all the deaths, if we let more people end up on the shores, we can no longer call ourselves human. Nor can we tell our children they are human! I don't want to find more people on shore. I want to welcome them to our beautiful country. I want to show them what life can be so much more. I want to show them happiness. I want them to know that New Zealand is a place of peace, a place of acceptance.
I'll never forget Aylan.
Saving Lives - A Sister Speaks Out (Radio NZ)
It can become normalised if it has been going on for years and years. It’s important to create awareness and break the silence around domestic abuse.
– Rida Noor (sister of murder victim Sidra Noor)
Chinese Herald Story
World TV (see 13:00-14:25)
Jan Logie, Green Party MP blog