U.S. bombs won’t save the kids of the Middle East. Here’s what we can do | Will Bunch

The Syrian refugee crisis presented an opportunity for the United States to demonstrate its global leadership — by working with our allies in the region for example, Saudi Arabia , with foreign aid, and also by example — by increasing our then-paltry numbers of Syrian refugees that we accepted here. That’s the response you’d expect from a nation that once defined our exceptionalism as our willingness to accept the world’s “huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. He cited a terrorist attack in San Bernardino as a rallying cry to ban all Muslim arrivals — including Syrian refugees — “until we can figure out what the hell is going on,” and then he routinely bludgeoned Hillary Clinton for supporting an increase in refugee resettlement. In , the final year of the Obama administration, the U. But that all came crashing to a halt the moment Donald Trump took the presidential oath on Jan. Trump had promised this on the campaign trail about Syrian refugees: Two numbers really stand out from Trump’s “Mission Accomplished” missile strike in alliance with France and the United Kingdom this weekend. The other number is 11 — the grand total of Syrian refugees that America has accepted so far in

“Constant fear” for gay refugees in Europe’s shelters

Follow A Turkish bride and groom decided to share their joy on their wedding day by inviting 4, Syrian refugees to eat with them and celebrate in the southern Turkish city of Kilis. In total, there are four million Syrian refugees who had fled the country in what the UN described as the worst crisis of its kind in a generation. Almost eight million people are displaced within the country, the UN said last month. He told Serhat Kilis newspaper that he hoped others would do the same and share their wedding celebrations with their Syrian brothers and sisters.

In contrast, absorbing the influx of refugees has been an enormous challenge for Syria’s neighbours, with strong implications for the stability of the entire region. We hope this website is an accessible way to better understand this migration crisis.

Riot police in Damascus. Even before the uprising began, the Syrian government had made numerous arrests of political dissidents and human rights campaigners, many of whom were labeled “terrorists” by the Assad government. In early February , authorities arrested several activists, including political leaders Ghassan al-Najar, [35] Abbas Abbas, [36] and Adnan Mustafa.

In response to the uprising, Syrian law had been changed to allow the police and any of the nation’s 18 security forces to detain a suspect for eight days without a warrant. Arrests focused on two groups: Many detainees were cramped in tight rooms and were given limited resources, and some were beaten, electrically jolted, or debilitated.

At least 27 torture centers run by Syrian intelligence agencies were revealed by Human Rights Watch on 3 July Blockades were set up in several cities to prevent the movement of protests. Timeline of the Syrian civil war January—April During March and April, the Syrian government, hoping to alleviate the unrest, offered political reforms and policy changes. Authorities shortened mandatory army conscription, [43] and in an apparent attempt to reduce corruption, fired the governor of Daraa.

Authorities reversed a ban that restricted teachers from wearing the niqab , and closed the country’s only casino. The dialogue was a chance to discuss the democratic reforms and other issues, however many of the opposition leaders and protest leaders refused to attend citing that continuing crackdown on protesters in streets. The emergency law had been used to justify arbitrary arrests and detention, and to ban political opposition. After weeks of debate, Assad signed the decree on 21 April, lifting Syria’s state of emergency.

Middle East

Posted on September 3, by iriswhiting In March , an anti-regime uprising led to an all out civil war in Syria. While he promised, in , that his leadership would look out for the best interest of the Syrian people, Bashar al-assad has become known worldwide as a brutal dictator. The government uses these weapons despite a United Nations Security Council resolution passed in Feb.

There is also very credible evidence that Bashar al-assad used chemical weapons against the Syrian people. The United Nations estimates that more than , people have been killed since the civil war began in

Ivanka Trump compared to Syrian refugee after posing in £4, dress amid ‘Muslim ban’ The President’s daughter was criticised for wearing the expensive gown .

Turkey Carly Learson is sharing stories from Syrians in Turkey’s refugee camps. Seven years ago Shoua thought she had things worked out. She was 24 and happily married, with a toddler and a new baby. She’d graduated university with a degree in literature from Aleppo University and had moved back to her home city, Raqqa, where she was working as a teacher. Over the next two years, everything fell apart. Islamic State fighters turned up in Raqqa. The school system collapsed. Shoua and her husband knew they couldn’t stay, so they fled, driving, walking, hitchhiking to the Turkish border, making it just before Raqqa was shut off from the world.

For five years she’s lived in a tent camp near Sanliurfa, a city with ruins dating back to the stone age. Her opportunities for sightseeing are limited. The irony is not lost on her or the other women. Islamic State is gone from Raqqa now, so I sometimes wonder if I’d be better off there,” she says.

Meet Iceland’s first Syrian refugees: ‘For us, it’s the freezer’

W5 Team Fact check: Do refugees get more financial help than Canadian pensioners? Volunteers assist refugees to disembark from a yacht, on which around people crossed a part of the Aegean sea from Turkey’s coast to the Greek island of Lesbos, early in the morning Saturday, Nov.

Turkey swells with refugee millions. There are now million Syrian refugees in Turkey. That’s more people than the population of Paris — or all the people in Western Australia, South.

Follow Every year, a few hundred thousand hardy tourists make it to the snowy town of Akureyri in the far north of Iceland, braving 70mph winds and freezing temperatures in search of ski slopes, whale watching trips and the Northern Lights. In fact, until a couple of months ago, Khattab Al Mohammad and his family had not even heard of Iceland. They are Syrian refugees who have been offered a new life in the country, and who must now adjust to living 3, miles from home — and only 60 miles from the Arctic Circle.

The majority of refugees who have fled the war in Syria have settled in camps in Lebanon or Jordan or been granted asylum in Germany or other continental European countries. But more distant countries, including New Zealand, Canada and Uruguay, have also accepted migrants. Iceland, which has a population of , , has pledged to accept an initial allocation of 75 refugees. They left their home in the city of Aleppo in following repeated rocket attacks in their neighbourhood and after many of their neighbours armed themselves with Kalashnikovs.

One of them did not see a checkpoint when he was driving and the person at the checkpoint shot him dead right away. In fact, they spent three years living in Lebanon, where more than a million Syrian refugees were living by the end of last year.

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European Union members legally obliged to join Schengen at a future date Countries with open borders In the Schengen Agreement of 14 June , 26 European countries 22 of the 28 European Union member states, plus four European Free Trade Association states joined together to form an area where border checks on internal Schengen borders i. Countries may reinstate internal border controls for a maximum of two months for “public policy or national security” reasons.

By default when no family reasons or humanitarian grounds are present , the first member state that an asylum seeker entered and in which they have been fingerprinted is responsible. If the asylum seeker then moves to another member state, they can be transferred back to the member state they first entered. This has led many to criticise the Dublin rules for placing too much responsibility for asylum seekers on member states on the EU’s external borders like Italy, Greece and Hungary , instead of devising a burden-sharing system among EU states.

A briefing by the European Parliament explained that the Dublin Agreement was only designed to assign responsibility, not effectively share responsibility.

As Canada’s new Liberal government moves forward with its plan to resettle 25, Syrian refugees by the end of the year, false claims about how much money will be spent to support them have been.

In the documentary Mr Gay Syria, he explains why he chose to compete: But now I need to show my real face. If I don’t, I’ll be in despair forever. Sabat is one of an estimated lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex LGBTI refugees who live in Turkey — where homosexuality is not outlawed. However, the community lives precariously as filmmaker Ayse Toprak suggests in her documentary, which shows police violently disrupting a Gay Pride parade.

Advertisement “Rejected by both their own communities and by the Turkish society at large, they have difficulty finding housing and jobs,” she says. And sometimes all this can get life threatening. Last winter, for example, two gay Syrians were killed at their jobs. By submitting your email you are agreeing to Fairfax Media’s terms and conditions and privacy policy. Ekin Calisir Festival director David Rokach said the documentary sheds light on two important issues: The contest was organised by fellow Syrian refugee living in Berlin, Mahmoud Hassino, to highlight the plight of gay refugees.

Hassino was a gay rights activist and the founder of Syria’s first queer magazine, who had been “out” publicly since He left Syria in fearing his safety under the Assad regime “but not because of my sexuality,” he says.

Meet the Turkish couple who spent their wedding day feeding 4,000 Syrian refugees

Focus In Turkey, Syrian women and girls increasingly vulnerable to exploitation Dubious matchmakers and criminal gangs are preying on the Syrian women and girls who have sought shelter in Turkey. The sexual exploitation ranges from illicit marriages to prostitution. They face hard lives and tough choices. By Dominique Soguel Correspondent Gazientep and Sanliurfa, Turkey In the refugee camps and crowded Turkish towns on the border with Syria , impoverished Syrian women and girls are falling prey to criminal rings that are forcing them into sexually exploitative situations ranging from illicit marriages to outright prostitution.

Girls are also targeted for early marriage or sexual exploitation. In some cases male relatives are complicit.

Um Majed (pictured left) is a Syrian housewife from Homs. She says she understands the refugee families and women who give into the demands of the men from the .

Reliefs from Tel Halaf dating to the Aramean kingdom of Bit Bahiani Around the 14th century BC, various Semitic peoples appeared in the area, such as the semi-nomadic Suteans who came into an unsuccessful conflict with Babylonia to the east, and the West Semitic speaking Arameans who subsumed the earlier Amorites. They too were subjugated by Assyria and the Hittites for centuries. The Egyptians fought the Hittites for control over western Syria; the fighting reached its zenith in BC with the Battle of Kadesh.

From this point, the region became known as Aramea or Aram. There was also a synthesis between the Semitic Arameans and the remnants of the Indo-European Hittites , with the founding of a number of Syro-Hittite states centered in north central Aram Syria and south central Asia Minor modern Turkey , including Palistin , Carchemish and Sam’al.

From these coastal regions they eventually spread their influence throughout the Mediterranean , including building colonies in Malta , Sicily, the Iberian peninsula modern Spain and Portugal , the coasts of North Africa, and most significantly, founding the major city state of Carthage in modern Tunisia in the 9th century BC which was much later to become the center of a major empire, rivaling the Roman Empire. The Assyrians introduced Imperial Aramaic as the lingua franca of their empire.

This language was to remain dominant in Syria and the entire Near East until after the Arab Islamic conquest in the 7th and 8th centuries AD, and was to be a vehicle for the spread of Christianity. Assyrian domination ended after the Assyrians greatly weakened themselves in a series of brutal internal civil wars, followed by an attacking coalition of their former subject peoples; the Medes , Babylonians , Chaldeans , Persians , Scythians and Cimmerians.

During the fall of Assyria, the Scythians ravaged and plundered much of Syria.

Antenna film festival: Mr Gay Syria highlights plight of gay Syrian refugees

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In March , the UNHCR decided to appoint a Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syrian Refugees—recognising the growing concerns surrounding the crisis. Just a year later, in March , the number of Syrian refugees reached 1,, By December , UNHCR counted 1,, asylum applications for Syrian refugees in the European Union. As of March , UNHCR has counted .

Syrian refugees are seen at the Za’atari refugee camp, on the Jordanian border, on May 31, The image of 3-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi went viral in September , showing the toddler’s lifeless body washed ashore in Turkey after his family tried to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to find safety in Greece. It was a wake-up call for the international community, particularly people in rich, developed nations who had yet to grasp the scope of continued human suffering caused by the years-long Syrian conflict.

But today, as more than Politicians continue to spout harmful rhetoric that stokes fears and misconceptions about refugees and migrants, while people who do want to help often resign themselves to feeling that it’s an intractable issue — too overwhelming to make a difference. Millions of refugees could benefit from big data — but we’re not using it A new initiative may renew some hope.

Two major players in the humanitarian aid and development spaces just forged a partnership to find innovative solutions to the refugee crisis, and they’re using big data and tech to do it. The goal is to prompt a better global response to forced displacement and more informed policies, ultimately leading to stronger and smarter assistance for both refugees and the communities that host them.

My experience hosting a refugee


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