Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

avramopoulos-2017

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner responsible for Migration. Date: 25/01/2017 Reference: P-033504/00-20 Location: Brussels – EC/Berlaymont. © European Union , 2017 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Georges Boulougouris.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Dina Tadros. The writer is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The biggest refugee crisis since world war II – this is the standard reference that people consider to use to impress the audience with the immensity of the so called crisis we find ourselves in right now.

But what is it that makes all of this an actual crisis? Is it the large numbers of people who are forced to flee? Is it the reaction of the people who are not concerned or are now forced to be concerned with the arriving refugees; or is it that the people know the solution to the problem but are too selfish, reckless and power hungry to take the necessary steps to put an end to this, mainly manmade, crisis?

Last spring in my neighbourhood a WW II bomb was found. The following day police and fire fighters had the whole area be evacuated for a whole day to defuse the bomb. You could read and hear about it all over the news – nothing happened but people were still talking about it for weeks afterwards.

Now, when this WW II bomb leaves people so shocked and frightened for their lives, I can only imagine how people must feel when the bombs and rockets come crashing down three times a day over your head. Bombs you never know about in advance that can´t be defused or where people can´t be evacuated in advance.

Of course, people would fear for their lives and try to flee with their families to guarantee a safe place where they might actually see their children grow up!

People, however don´t flee merely for the fact that there is war going on in their countries. Sadly, with the effects of climate change leaving lakes in Sub-Saharan Africa and other places to dry out, people are fleeing from hunger, drought and thirst.

The actual crisis behind this is the number of people now on the move for a better and safer place of living. However, one cannot say that the western world was not prepared for this or did not see this coming.

In my view, the most shocking contribution to calling the migration crisis a crisis is the nationalist sentiments that have been on the rise which have never been so active and vivid since before World War II.

The uprising of right-wing thinking –  and support of this in several countries of Europe leading to detrimental consequences such as “Brexit” or popular support of nationalist parties and open hate of migrants, blacks or Hispanics that allowed people like the Leave-party or Donald Trump win over the majority of votes promising them an immigrant free country and the renaissance of so called national cultures.

There are still some voices of reason being heard in the world and necessary actions being undertaken – and I´m glad that these are coming from our own rows – the voices of the youth who are stepping up for the rights of the supressed voicing their opinions out loud and making sure that the decision making bodies are witnessing this.

As long as we continue to fight what is evidently wrong and speak up for those who cannot be heard, there is still a chance for compassion and humanity to succeed.

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