Sunday, 22 December 2013

Caught between a war and a cold place

In two years a humble revolution has turned into a raging war whose parties’ have become unrecognisable through the smoke of bombs and poisonous chemicals. For two years the world has watched and played the blame game, for two years Syria has bled.

In two years the United Nations Refugee Agency reports that over two million Syrians have been forced to flee their country, their status changing from citizen to refugee. 

Syria is now a battleground for the egotistical and the power hungry, for the religious extremist and the hired hit man. The rest has turned into rubble.

Lying in a warm bed one cannot shake off the image of the Syrian child who tries to fall asleep as the freezing wind cuts through his frail body. How can one enjoy this cool air wafting across the scorching Middle East after it has murdered children in refugee camps? 
Tattered tents are their shields against the harshness of winter, which seems to grow more ruthless as the years go on. 

In 1948, during the Jewish exodus approximately 725,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes by Israeli forces, they tied their house keys around their necks and fled for their lives with hopes that one day they shall return, they never did. The world remained silent.

Today, two million Syrians have been driven out of their homes by the very people vowing to protect them and the world’s silence is louder than ever.

As politicians weigh courses of action against their political agendas the death toll weighs heavy on the conscience of the world. The once vibrant Syrian streets are now haunted by the souls of the innocent and the historic monuments that told of an unrivalled Arab civilisation no longer stand tall.

As refugee camps face one of the harshest winters in the region’s recent history it becomes ever clearer that international aid is an immediate answer but it is not the final one. The war in Syria must end, the people of Syria must return to their homes and begin to rebuild. 

Governments must seek a peaceful solution, for Syria has seen enough bloodshed. We have seen both the Iraqi and Libyan experiments fail as hundreds of people are still dying there every year, we have just become desensitised to the numbers. Military intervention and the injection of weapons only add to the conflict by creating more fighting factions than one can count, each with its own agenda. 
Political compromises must be made so that enemies turn into allies in order to create more pressure on the Syrian government to act. 

Until then, Syrians will continue to choose life over death. They will brave the bitter cold for the whiteness surrounding them remains gentler than the redness the artists of death chose to cover their homes with. They will continue to survive in the hope that while their winters might get colder, our hearts will not.


This article was published in The Gulf Today newspaper on 22 Dec., 2013 http://bit.ly/1cK7aM7

Arabic version of this article was published in Al Khaleej newspaper http://bit.ly/1bYtML7

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