If you type "child on beach" into Google Images, this is the kind of pictures you will get back from your search:-
A healthy child, at the water's edge on a summer seaside holiday. No doubt the proud parents are close by - just off camera watching over their little darling.
But here's another child on a beach. He is facing towards the Greek island of Kos from a beach near Bodrum, Turkey. The child's name is Aylan Kurdi, just three years old and he is dead:-
Calling America! Calling Canada! Calling China! Calling Japan! Calling Australia! Calling New Zealand! Calling Brazil! Calling South Africa! Send luxury ocean liners immediately! Welcome on board full complements of Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi refugees! If you each take a fair share of refugees back to your shores, the heat will be taken out of the current crisis in Europe.
Just because these desperate refugees cannot paddle to your countries in inflatable boats or board ramshackle vessels at gunpoint or trudge along railway tracks to get to you, doesn't mean you should turn a blind eye to it all! America especially - you should ask yourself how your actions in this millennium have fuelled the current humanitarian disaster and send not just one ocean liner but maybe ten!
Aylan should not have died that way - his cold little face turned to the sea - his dreams and his hopes for the future not yet formed. We are all shamed by the image. SEND OCEAN LINERS NOW!
P.S. Saudi Arabia! United Arab Emirates! Israel! Russia! What are you doing to help?
When I look at this picture of this child, dressed for an adventure by a parent, with still perfectly tied shoes and a new haircut.......when I do it makes my posting about dead baby bears seem a little nonsensical. And trite. The life of a little child ......... gone.ReplyDelete
And, yes, the United States is responsible, in part, for this death. For lots and lots of deaths. And, this election cycle that has already begun seems to be, first and foremost, about immigration. Which is a shame and a sham.
The murdered bear cubs and little Aylan, all three of them victims. If there were such a place as heaven, I would hope that Aylan is laughing with the bear cubs now - far away from greedy men with guns, stupid rules, incompetent leaders and institutionalised cruelty. It is all so heartbreaking.Delete
We all need to ask ourselves what we're going to do when our own governments become our worst enemies and we feel the need to pack up our precious families and leave. People are not doing this because they're looking for a free ride somewhere else, think about how hard it must be to make a decision like that, what horrid things must be driving them to it. But no. We'll sit here and listen to Fox News and take online quizzes about how we'd survive a zombie attack.ReplyDelete
This. Thank you for this.Delete
Very well said.
At the moment, I don't feel like making any funny remarks about ridiculous zombie attacks and suchlike. You are right Jan - for those families to up sticks and leave their countries and their homes with just napsacks and hope, something very fearsome must have driven them away.Delete
No doubt he is one of hundreds. It's an awful world we live in where the fat get fatter at the expense of the poor.ReplyDelete
Is it just me? I am feeling that the world is less happy, more chaotic and more dangerous than it was even ten years ago.Delete
It's not you. Our leaders are men of straw. They bend and try and appear statesperson like. They are just self seeking tossers. I would vote for Corbyn. I might disagree with half he stands for but at least he knows Israel is an evil state backed by US dollars without which they would be in the same state as the Palestinians who they persecute.Delete
There has been a collective shift from our leaders. Refugees are not migrants nor are they a swarm they are desperate people fleeing tyranny. Most would work their nuts off to live here which is more than the Royals do.
We should take in as many as want to come, we should sever relations with Saudis, Republican Americans.....Any country that behaves in an amoral or immoral way. First I guess we have to put our own house in order. Easier said than done with Queenie sitting there ruling us with a face like a hens arse.
Meritocracy is worth considering.
I agree that the world (but America especially) should join together in fixing this travesty. There us too much wealth and too much space on this earth for such things to happen.ReplyDelete
I was struck the other night by a broadcast on Sky News. First they showed heartbreaking photos like the one you shared of the refugee crisis. Immediately afterwards there was a story about some 19 year old athlete who got signed to a soccer team for millions. My husband and I turned to each other and said, "People have some screwed up priorities in this world." Imagine what those millions (and a tiny portion of all the money sport generates all over the world) could do for those poor desperate people.
No one on this planet should have to be desperately poor or hungry or suffering in the year 2015.
Such contradictions! Such hypocrisy! Such heartbreak! It's like a horror tale unfolding with a plot that we are powerless to change.Delete
Being German and living in Germany, the whole refugees/immigrants topic is huge and foremost on my mind these days (even though my posts are, at the moment, all about the wonderful Yorkshire holiday I've had). My home country is expected to have around 800.000 people arriving this year. That's nearly 10 times the size of my home town. Where are they all going to go? If it were just a question of feeding and housing them, some solution (although not a luxurious one) could be found. But so much more is required. These people need jobs, perspectives, places in classes, language courses and communities who welcome and integrate them (if they choose to be integrated).ReplyDelete
It's not easy, and it is multi-faceted. I don't always agree with what Frau Merkel says, but when she called this a national task (to make clear it was not something a few friendly individuals or a handful of welfare organizations could cope with), I couldn't help but nod.
And what am I personally doing? Nothing. Nothing at all. I have not opened my home to a poor family, but still live in a two bedroom flat all on my own. I have not even donated any money or gone to a refugees home to see if I could be useful in any other way.
Interestingly, that crowd of migrants and refugees blocked outside Budapest's main railway station were chanting "Germany! Germany!" in English. Not, "Deutschland! Deutschland!". I found that quite strange.Delete
We seem to be entering a critical chapter in the book of Europe. Lord knows how it will all end.
Ashamedly I am void of words.ReplyDelete
RIP beautiful Aylan.
Yes. Rest in Peace dear little boy.Delete
No, it's not just you, Yorkie...the world is less happy...by the day, if not hour. It is more dangerous, more chaotic.ReplyDelete
It's heartbreaking...tragic...disturbing, to say the very, very least. What the solution is, I have no idea. God! I wish I did.
The solution? Maybe turn off the radio and the TV, cancel the newspapers and live on top of a mountain in some distant semi-tropical land...stirring potions in a cauldron.Delete
I have for four years been heartily ashamed of my country's leader and direction. Last time I left, vowing not to return until that current one was ousted. We are being treated like imbeciles and thrown offerings of stupid changes that we have to use all our energy to fight, while rich people like our PM and his friends just get richer on the likes of TTPA. Sigh.ReplyDelete
I am surprised that New Zealand has apparently welcomed so few refugees and asylum seekers. It can't be the people's fault. It must be the politicians. Your lovely country could so easily absorb two or three hundred desperate Syrian families...and they in their turn would think they had arrived in paradise!Delete
And the number of refugees we have taken is absolutely abysmal...https://www.facebook.com/AmnestyNZ/posts/10153595753263530:0ReplyDelete
Sorry, here: https://www.amnesty.org.nz/double-refugee-quotaReplyDelete
No words can convey what I feel and think as I look at the photograph of that small boy.ReplyDelete
As for what I think about the rest of this world; it is best left unsaid for fear your blog may go into meltdown Mr Pudding.
The only way my blog will go into meltdown is if I try to dry it over a hot radiator Alphie!Delete
You have posed so many questions Neil. Are we less happy? Than when? WW1? WW2? The 1960s when the UK was the time when, in the 1959 words of Harold Macmillan "indeed let us be frank about it – most of our people have never had it so good.". But how was the rest of the world in the 60s? Subjugated in may cases by this country's empire (or in the US and South Africa to name but two by apartheid) which has given many of us the standard of living that we now have. We have poor and disadvantaged people who are, in world terms, nowhere near poor or disadvantaged.ReplyDelete
Of course I agree with the sentiment of your post. I think we should do as much as we can to help those who have fled their war-torn lands in wars we have had a hand in.
I live alone in my family house with an income which many families would consider adequate. How many of us reading this blog (you're ok Adrian) could give a permanent home to someone or even a family? How many of us would? I wouldn't. Would you?
I am no saint Graham. I have spent the last month maintaining my son's empty house ready for rental. If the government would cough up the market rent, I would be very happy to welcome a Syrian refugee family. I would put flowers on the table and stock up the fridge and help them to get settled on this already crowded island. I would even give them the address of a holiday home in a place called Eagleton on the Isle of Lewis - complete with live-in caretaker.Delete
You make some very salutary points sir.
Thanks Neil. I feel deeply and helplessly about the problem but am reluctant to sacrifice too much to help. The 'Would you?' was directed at the world in general and not you in particular.Delete
The problem is that 'The Government' pays nothing. They allocate the money that we, the taxpayer, give to the state. They have to decide whether they give it to our pensions, nuclear weapons, police (a Scottish issue of great importance at the moment) or refugees amongst many other things we all consider essential. Whilst most reluctant to allocate any praise to the present government, they have already allocated nearly a billion pounds of our money to refugees in their camps on other peoples' territories.
I could not agree more, especially about the USA's complicity in these events. I've been saying the same thing for weeks. This is a global problem, not a European problem, and it needs a global solution.ReplyDelete
Yes Steve - GLOBAL is indeed the word.Delete
It doesn't take as much to sustain an immigrant family, I have found, as it would to take in a displaced family like our own. The Mexicans and Ukrainians I know are hard-working, resourceful, and they help each other. I would think refugees might best be taken care of in family groups or groups from the same areas, so there are people they know. I wonder if the FEMA trailers that were assembled for the Katrina debacle 10 years ago are still available? I see a temporary "village," where services could be provided, rather than leave refugees to figure out how to get transportation to them. A village where the people could have gardens and chickens and support each other. We like to assume all foreigners are peasants, that's not true. They are an assortment of people with all kinds of skills that could benefit each other in their temporary village. If I was a migrant, I'd want to be learning the language of my new country, and figuring out how I was eventually going to survive on my own. If I was a refugee, I'd want to be just staying safe and hanging on until I could go back home. As long as the camps actually have decent housing and are not just there to keep the foreigners away from everyone else, that would seem like the most efficient and beneficial way to deal with this situation. In the long run, those of us in countries that are run by the military industrial complex need to wise up and kick out the assholes who cause all this mayhem for their own profit. We could start by sending Dick Cheney and his buddies to a refugee camp on the moon.ReplyDelete
By the sound of it Jan, you should be appointed as The Syrian Refugee Co-ordinator (California). You have some clear, practical and intelligent ideas proving that you would have been a truly awful politician!Delete
I was just reminded that Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant.Delete
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