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Feb 13

Syria is our generation’s shame

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On January 21, 2017, Multicultural Mosaic Foundation hosted a panel on the humanitarian crisis in Syria. The participants were Dr. Nader Hashemi and Nadeen Ibrahim. Dr. Hashemi discussed the Syrian crisis from a political scientist’s perspective, whereas Ms. Ibrahim approached the issue from her humanitarian aid experience.

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According to Dr. Hashemi, Syria is our generation’s shame. Life expectancy in Syria dropped from 71 years before the war to 55 years. Over sixty percent of the population is displaced. ISIS crisis is a direct byproduct of Syria crisis. Russia’s intervention has increased the level of violence and the future looks grim as the crisis will further increase the destabilization of the Middle East. The violence in Syria has reached the borderline genocide level. He showed a video produced by BBC on Aleppo that displayed largest tragedy and catastrophy of the 21st century. In 2015, half a million people fled to Europe. Turkey hosts more than three million Syrian refugees. 12.5 million people now displaced or turned into refugees. About half a million people were killed, about ninety percent of which the regime is responsible of. There were four hundred attacks on medical facilities in Syria. The estimated cost of rebuilding Syria is seven hundred billion dollars.

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Ms. Ibrahim, recently returned from an aid trip to Lesbos island in Greece and works with families resettled in Colorado. She talked about her experiences in Lesbos where she distributed female hygiene products and diapers with the eight thousand dollars she raised in Colorado. The money lasted less than a week. According to her, refugees who make it to the island are generally financially well-off people who pay smugglers for their trip. On the island, a family of six lives in a tent of size 6ft x 3ft in refugee camps where fights and fires can take place. Children have access to basic health and education. European Union resettlement process is much shorter than the United States. The resettling refugees in Colorado are in huge need of basic items like cups and plates. They also need help in learning English. Coloradans can help by reaching out to organizations such as International Rescue Committee, African Center and Lutheran Family Services.