The World on Fire


I, like most of you, have been fortunate enough to be born in a country and situation of stability. I have never heard the sounds of bombs dropping from the sky, I have never seen bodies blown to pieces, I have never watched a child deliriously cry after being pulled out of rubble and learning their parents have died. I have never had to worry about starvation. I have never had to worry about a mob of men raping me. I have never had to surrender my life to hopelessness. This is all because I was fortunate enough to be born in a place other than Aleppo, Syria. A place other than South Sudan. A place other than Yemen. A place other than Burundi. A place other than many other places in this world. Humanity’s shadow side is incredibly dark. However, the biggest disappointment is the complacency of those of us so far removed from the situation. The self-consumed attitude. As if what is happening over the Atlantic will never arrive at our door. As if we don’t have the foundations to birth a place of viable instability. As if we don’t have a responsibility to our fellow human beings. WTF humanity?!WTF?! “The world has always been on fire.” But that is because complacency has kept us all from believing we hold the bucket of water needed to extinguish it.

Humans of New York: Sharing Stories from refugees in Europe

Humans of New York (HONY) is currently sharing stories from refugees in Europe. These are stories that need to be read and shared. It is easy to remain disconnected from what is happening across the sea or across the border, but we are ONE world, ONE human race, ONE love.

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The extent to which refugee children have been conditioned by their environment is heartbreaking. We wanted permission to take this young girl’s photograph, so we asked if her mother was nearby. Her eyes filled with the most uncontrollable fear that I’ve ever seen in a child. ‘Why do you want my mother?’ she asked. Later, her parents told us how the family had crouched in the woods while soldiers ransacked their house in Syria. More recently they’d been chased through the woods by Turkish police. After we’d spent a few minutes talking with her parents, she returned to being a child and could not stop hugging us, and laughing, and saying ‘I love you so much.’ But I went to sleep that night remembering the terror on her face when we first asked to speak to her mother.

A place in the world

 

Damascus, Syria
 
Because we don’t choose our place of birth

Some are born in hell on earth

Seeking  a place to belong

A place where they can sing their beautiful song

In hopes that one will take a listen

And hear the message in each note’s presence.

The message of love, the message of fear

The message of hoping to find a home here

It’s in that seeking one has to wonder

Why someone’s life is more of value than another

Where the death of one is humanistic

But a death of many is just statistic

And in the hopes to find this home

They leave behind all they’ve ever known

And trek along with a sea of souls

In search of safer dreams and goals

But the journey to freedom is met with resistance

Invisible borders challenge persistence

But the fear of returning to what is hell

Makes the journey to freedom something comforting to dwell.

For those born in better lands

Reach out and give a helping hand

Because we don’t choose our place of birth

It could have been you, born in hell on earth.
***dedicated to every refugee who has been forced out of their place of birth, their home, that one place in the world they’ve ever known***

I have deep respect for Doctors without borders. They are currently helping refugees and are also in Syria doing work. If there’s an interest to donate: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/country-region/syria