What You Need To Know About The Syrian Refugee Crisis

Sep 13, 2015 by     Comments Off on What You Need To Know About The Syrian Refugee Crisis    Posted under: Cover Story, Spotlight

Al-Jazeea interviewed Kinan Masalmeh in Budapest, Hungary, where he eloquently summed up what many people don’t realize about the Syrian civil war.

Kinan, who reportedly escaped the city of Deraa with his sister, told the network:

Please help the Syrians. The Syrians need help now, just stop the war. We don’t want to stay in Europe, just stop the war.

The police don’t like the Syrians in Serbia, in Hungary, in Macedonia, in Greece.

An interview with a 13-year-old Syrian refugee is being widely shared on Facebook.


As far as my understanding goes, the Syrian refugee crisis is the worst migration the world has seen since World War 2 and Syria’s civil war being the worst humanitarian disaster of our time. The number of men. women and children, that have been displaced is too huge to comprehend. More than 11 million people safe have had to leave their homes behind. The responsibility that falls on neighboring countries is overwhelming no doubt but one thing is for sure; Syrians need our help. This is a humanitarian cause. These people have been force to leave their land, their homes, their country behind. Nobody wants to leave home, lest get their straight, but when home is nothing but an ash-covered ground, when home is no longer a home, what choice does one have? For the sake of their survival, the survival of their children these refugees have left their home in the hopes of finding anew life somewhere and it is our job to make sure their hopes and sacrifices and efforts were not in vain.

I may not be the most politically aware person you’d find, I’ll admit that but when my fellow humans are in such misery when they are having to go through such unimaginable devastation then why shouldn’t we raise our voices?

So take a few minutes to understand the magnitude of their crisis.

When did the crisis start?
Demonstrations against the government began in March of 2011, which quickly escalated after the government’s stern enforcement of rules an regulations and the rebels began retaliating. By July the Free Syrian Army had been organized and many civilians joined in with the opposition.

What is happening to Syrians caught in the war?
Over 220,000 people, half of whom are presumed to be civilians, have been killed over the last 4 years since the civil war first began. Bombs have practically reduced the countries to ashes. Food, water, medical care and other basic necessities are extremely scarce. According to the U.N about 7.6 million people ae internally displaced. When you also consider refugees, more than half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, whether they still remain in the country or have escaped across the borders.

Where are they fleeing to?
Europe remains the destination for a large amount  of the refugees, they hope to find a better future there. Majority of them have found home in Jordan and Lebanon. An increasing number of Syrian refugees are fleeing across the border into Turkey, overwhelming urban host communities and creating new cultural tensions. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are also attempting the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Greece.

How many refugees are there?
Every year of the conflict has seen an exponential growth in refugees. In 2012, there were 100,000 refugees. By April 2013, there were 800,000. That doubled to 1.6 million in less than four months. There are now four million Syrians scattered throughout the region, making them the world’s largest refugee population under the United Nations’ mandate. The U.N. predicts there could be 4.27 million Syrian refugees by the end of 2015

How many refugees are children?
According to the U.N., more than half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18. Most of them have lost the privilege of going to school for months, probably even years. They are young and they are terrified. Far too little to have to go through such traumatic experiences, they long for the sense of safety and home. the older children are forced to grow up too fast, finding work and having to care for the little ones in such desperate circumstances.

How Many Countries Have Taken In Refugees?

  1. Turkey: 1.9 million
  2. Lebanon: 1.1 million
  3. Jordan: 629,000
  4. Iraq: 249,000
  5. Egypt: 132,000
  6. Germany: 98,700
  7. Sweden: 64,700
  8. France: 6,700
  9. United Kingdom: 7,000
  10. Denmark: 11,300
  11. Hungary: 18,800


We’ve all seen this picture go viral all over the internet over the last few days. And it breaks our hearts every time we see it. If you are as troubled by this picture as I am then good. It means that your heart is still in the right place. It means you haven’t let you heart turn stone-cold by xenophobic indoctrination. It means that you have empathy for these refugees. But please, don’t just “raise awareness” by liking the picture, by sharing the picture and then forgetting about it in a month or so. If you truly want to change things then set to working things right. I know It’s easier said then done; to change things but I believe if we really want to change something we do have the power to do so. I don’t believe change has to be big, the first step to change, I believe is the understanding of the situation. Understand what’s happening with the Syrian Civil War, what’s causing it and the role of the west. What’s creating all these refugees in the first place. Empathize with your fellow humans, empathize with Aylan Kurdi, the drowned 3-year old boy and his family and understand their predicament. And then spread your understanding.

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