Saturday, October 31, 2015

Syrian Refugees and the Banners (II)

These days the faces of ever growing refugees from Afghanistan to Syria are all over the media marching across fields and roads. Mostly young and energetic, they are the ones who can endure the long trip, some with small children in tow are seen demanding the right of passage to the more affluent parts of Europe. Many want to travel to Germany. When this wave of refugees began flooding the borders of Europe they were met with few activists carrying signs of "Welcome" along with armchair moralists encouraging them. There is nothing wrong with welcoming someone or being a moralist armchair or otherwise, but mostly they fall in the category of impulsive reaction and does not provide an overall view of the problem at hand.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Syrian Refugees and the Banners (I)

Many look at the Syrian crisis through the picture of the little boy who was laying face down on the beach, dead. They pay attention to the turmoil in Afghanistan when a bomb kills few or many in a wedding ceremony there. The sectarian killings in Iraq, Syria and Libya catch their attention when a gruesome beheading is put on the Web. These events prompt them to action – mostly a FaceBook post. "Open up the border and let the refugees in! How can you stand by and let a little boy die!" "Haven't the Western countries made enough mess in Afghanistan and Iraq. Get out of there!" Or "Where is the civilized world to stop these savageries!" Sometimes it is hard to decipher the rightist and the leftist positions from each other. These protestations are off the cuff outpouring of emotions, not much different than someone's FaceBook picture of his food. Both are off the cuff emotions, the latter demands repetition and the former is begging to go away. I do not have anything against impromptu emotions. I have my own moments but they tell us little to nothing about the reality of the events.